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Cornell University 

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With a few Words upon Pig-faced Ladies. 

"pHE BIOGEAPHIES of men who have essentially differed 
-*■ from the rest of the human race, either by their having 
been born with some peculiar congenital defect, or possessing 
an eccentricity of character, which inevitably impels them to 
overleap and trespass from the boundaries of the beaten high- 
way of conventional life, have been in all times eagerly sought 
after by the curious inquirer into human nature. Indeed, it is 
probable that the fables attributed to 2Esop have maintained 
their long popularity, in all the languages of the globe, from 
the simple fact that their author was said to be extremely 
deformed from his birth — that he passed through life in the 
servile condition of a slave, and met his tragical end at last by 
the unjust cruelty of the mistaken inhabitants of Delphi. 

There is a great change, too, in the manners and customs of 
the people of England, that renders a book like this still more 
interesting at the present time. We have nearly lost all, and 
are daily losing what little remains of, our individuality ; all 
people and all places seem now to be alike ; and the railways 
are, no doubt, the principal cause of this change. For railway 
stations, all over the world, seem to have a strong, we might 
almost call it a family, resemblance to each other ; while there 



was a great deal of difference, both in the localities and in the 
originality of the people you; met with, at the old roadside or 
village inns where the coach stopped to change horses. In the 
old coaching times of England, there was scarcely a village in 
which the mail-coach changed its horses but had its eccentric 
oddity of some kind or another, and this oddity was as certain 
to be at the inn-yard, to see and be seen by the travelling 
strangers, as the master of the house himself. But now, when 
we go to a country town, there is nothing to be seen but a 
railway station, with its usual complement of guards, porters, 
policemen, &c, as like as two peas are to the one we left miles 
away. The life-like although fictitious description of the railway 
station and refreshment rooms at Mugby Junction, may be ap- 
plied to every other station in England. 

Indeed, the tendency of the present day, in England, is 
directly opposed to the spirit of individual exclusiveness which, 
as the great encourager of eccentricity of character, once pre- 
vailed over all the country. Science is no longer locked up in 
a few colleges, royal societies, or inaccessible volumes. Through 
the public press, discoveries and theories, once the monopoly of 
a few philosophers, have become the common property of the 
multitude ; and what is true of science is still more true of 
literature. Genius now sends its light into cottages ; for works 
that were once too costly for even the opulent are now so cheap 
as to be found on the labourer's shelf. With the fine arts it is 
just the same. If, as it is said, the spirit of the great artists 
has died out, yet the taste for their works is still with 
us. By the improvements of engraving, and the invention 
of casts, the genius of the great artists is spreading every- 
where abroad. Their conceptions are no longer pent up 
in galleries, open to but a few, but meet us in our houses, and 
are the refined household treasures of millions. Works- de- 
signed for the halls and eyes of emperors, popes, and nobles, 
find their way, in no poor representations, into humble dwell- 
ings, and sometimes give a consciousness of kindred powers to 


the child of poverty. The art of drawing, which lies at the 
foundation of most of the fine arts, and is the best education 
of the eye for nature, is becoming a branch of common educa- 
tion, and in many countries is now taught in schools to which 
all classes are admitted. 

And a work such as this does much more than merely satisfy 
the curiosity of its readers. To take only one instance, it 
plainly tells us of the miserably wretched lives invariably led 
by those who avariciously and profanely make money to be 
their Deity, the be-all and end-all of the life of man. Byron's 
usual intelligence seems to have forsaken him when he wrote 
the following lines : — 

" Oh, gold ! why call we misers miserable ? 

Theirs is the pleasure that can never pall ; 
Theirs is the best bower-anchor o' the chain-cable, 

Which holds fast other pleasures, great and small. 
Ye who but see the saving man at table, 

And scorn his temperate board, as none at all, 
And wonder how the wealthy can be sparing, 
Know not what visions spring from each cheese-paring. 

"Perhaps he hath great projects in his mind — 
! To build a college, or to found a race, 

A hospital, a church — and leave behind 

Some dome surmounted by his meagre face ; 
Perhaps he fain would liberate mankind, 

Even with the very ore that makes them base ; 
Perhaps he would be wealthiest of his nation, 
Or revel in the joys of calculation." 

But this poetical view of the subject does not, in any in- 
stance, prove true to nature. It is not the benefits his money 
can buy, which he invariably denies to himself, that ever afford 
satisfaction to the pinching muckworm ; it is the mere posses- 
sion of the wealth alone, the adding of coin to coin, many 
times rapaciously gained, the satisfaction of his itching palm; 
that forms the miser's whole desire and happiness. — Dr. John- 


son, with more justice, said to Boswell, " A man who both 
spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has 
both enjoyments." 

A good story, relating to our subject, is told of the famous 
Prince of Conde. He on one occasion, when leaving his coun- 
try house, left his son, then just nine years of age, the large 
sum of fifty louis-d'or to spend, while he himself was absent in 
Paris. On his return, the boy came to him triumphantly, say- 
ing, " Papa, here is all the money safe ; I never touched it 
once." The Prince, without making any reply, took his son 
to the window, and quietly emptied all the money out of the 
purse. Then he said, " If you have neither virtue enough to 
give away your money, nor spirit enough to spend it, always do 
this for the future, that the poor may have a chance of getting 
some of it." History tells us that this lesson, so different from 
what he anticipated, was not lost on the youth ; and when he 
grew to be a man, no one was so prudent in turning his wealth 
to so good an account as the son of the renowned Prince of 
Conde. And we verily believe that this book, displaying such 
characters as Elwes, Cooke, Dancer, and DAguilar, in all their 
naked deformity, is likely to do more good than a thousand 
homilies against the avaricious sin of hoarding up treasures 
upon earth, " where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where 
thieves break through and steal." 

Another lesson to mankind is found in the life of Count 
Boruwlaski, whose portrait, with a short biography, are 
given elsewhere in the present work. Though a dwarf and a 
foreigner, his prospects ruined in his own country, and unac- 
quainted with the language spoken here, yet, by his tranquil, 
contented disposition, his unstained character, and his true 
politeness, he made himself hosts of friends, who tenderly 
solaced the long life of the petit Count ; for he reached the 
great age of ninety-eight years. And when his last scene was 
over — when grim death at length claimed his own in the per- 


son of the little man, at Banks Cottage, Durham, in 1837 — his 
remains were buried close to those of Stephen Kemble, in the 
Nine Altars of Durham ; while in the parish church of St.Mary- 
the-Less a neat mural tablet of white stone, erected by his 
friends, bears an inscription to his memory ; and so well was 
he beloved by the inhabitants of Durham, that a bend in the 
river Were, which almost surrounds the city, is still called the 
Count's Corner. 

It was not only by the poor inhabitants of Durham that the 
Count was esteemed ; he was treated with all the respect due 
to his unsullied reputation by George IV., then the greatest 
man in the empire. It is not often, now a-days, that we hear 
the Fourth George well spoken of, and we feel happy in having 
to do so now. It is a great mistake to suppose that, because a 
man is a voluptuary, and much more remarkable for his good 
manners than for his good morals, that he is therefore a person 
wholly bad. There really is no such being as one wholly bad, 
or wholly good either. Every human being is a mixture of 
various, and often apparently incongruous, elements, one re- 
lieving and redeeming the other, sometimes one assuming a 
predominance, and sometimes another — very much as the acci- 
dental provocations of external circumstances may determine. 
And there is no doubt that it was so with this monarch, as 
well as it was with the humblest of his subjects. 

Boruwlaski wished to present his book to the King, to whom 
he had been known many years previously, and through the 
exertions of Mathews, the famous comedian, the interview 
took place at Carlton House, in July, 1821, when the approach- 
ing coronation was greatly occupying the royal mind. The two 
visitors, the old Polish dwarf and the player, were treated by 
the King with great tenderness — and, even more than that, 
with great considerate delicacy. On being introduced into the 
apartment, the King raised the dwarf up into his arms in a kind 
embrace, saying, " My dear old friend, how delighted I am to 
see you ! " and then placed the little man on a sofa beside him. 


But, Boruwlaski's loyalty not being so satisfied, he descended 
with the agility of a schoolboy, and threw himself cat the King's 
feet, who, however, would not suffer him to remain in that 
position for a minute, and again raised him to the sofa. The 
King, in accepting the book which the Count wished to present 
to him, turned to the Marchioness of Conyngham, and took 
from her a little case containing a beautiful miniature watch 
and seals, attached by a superb chain, the watch exquisitely 
ornamented with jewels. This the King begged Boruwlaski to 
accept, saying, as he held the book in his other hand, " My 
dear friend, I shall read and preserve this as long as I live, 
for your sake ; and in return I request you will wear this for 
mine." His Majesty then said, out of hearing of the Count, 
"If I had a dozen sons, I could not point out to them a 
more perfect model of good breeding and elegance than the 
Count. He is really a most- accomplished and charming 

While the Count and the King were for a little time apart 
together, the King took the opportunity to inquire if the little 
Count required any pecuniary help to make his latter days 
more comfortable, avowing his desire to supply whatever was 
necessary. The King also offered to show his coronation robes 
to the dwarf, and further asked him if he retained any recollec- 
tion of a favourite valet of his, whom he named. The Count 
professing a perfect remembrance of the man, the King said — 
"He is now on his death-bed. I saw him this morning, and 
mentioned your expected visit. He expressed a great desire 
to see you, which I ventured to promise you should do ; for I 
have such a regard for him, that I would gratify his last hours 
as much as possible. Will you, Count, do me the favour of 
.paying my poor faithful servant a short visit ? He is even 
now expecting you. I hope you will not refuse to indulge 
a poor, suffering, dying creature." The Count, of course, 
expressed his readiness to obey the King's wishes. 

Boruwlaski was first shewn the robes, and then conducted 


to the chamber of the sick man, which was fitted up with 
every comfort and care ; a nurse and another attendant being 
in waiting upon the sufferer. When the Count was announced 
the poor invalid desired to be propped up in his bed. He was 
so changed by time and sickness, that the Count no longer re- 
cognised the face with which his memory was familiar. The 
nurse and attendant having retired into an adjoining room, 
the dying man (forsuch he was, and felt himself to be) ex- 
pressed the great obligation he felt at such a visit, and spoke 
most gratefully of him whom he designated as the best of mas- 
ters; told the Count of all the King's goodness to him, and, 
indeed, of his uniform benevolence to all that depended on 
him ; mentioned that his majesty, during the long course of 
his poor servant's illness, notwithstanding the circumstances 
that had agitated himself so • long, his numerous duties and 
cares, his present anxieties and forthcoming ceremonies, had 
never omitted to visit his bedside twice every day, not for a 
moment merely, but long enough to soothe and comfort him, 
and to see that he had everything necessary and desirable, tell- 
ing him all particulars of himself that were interesting to an 
pld and attached servant and humble friend. This account 
was so genuine in its style, and so affecting in its relation, that 
it deeply touched the heart of the listener. The dying man, 
feeling exhaustion, put an end to the interview by telling 
the Count that he only prayed to live long enough to greet 
his dear master after the coronation — to hear that the ceremony 
had been performed with due honour, and without any inter- 
ruption to his dignity — and that then he was ready to die in 

Poor Boruwlaski returned to the royal presence, utterly sub- 
dued by the foregoing scene ; upon which every feeling heart 
will, we are persuaded, make its own comment, unmixed with 
party spirit or prejudice. At any rate, Boruwlaski came away 
from Carlton House in tears at the kindness that George IV. 
had manifested towards him. 


'J' HE MYSTERIOUS, indeed we may say, epicene character of 
the Chevalier D'Eon has caused him to this very day to 
be enveloped in a cloud of inexplicable mystification : and a 
very curious circumstance, relating thereto, has occurred in 
France, which exposing, as it does, the system under which 
Frenchmen make up books for the public, is well worthy of 
being set forth here. A M. Gaillardet published at Paris a 
Mimoire of the Chevalier, in two octavo volumes, as far back as 
the year 1836. He was aided by many family papers and 
documents calculated to throw a new light on the character of 
the Chevalier, which he liberally obtained from members of his 
family- and the Duke of Broglie, then Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, and M. Mignet, Director of the Chancelleries of France, 
gave him full permission to ransack the Archives for the whole 
period of the Chevalier's diplomatic career. With such advan- 
tages in his favour, we might have expected a truthful history 
of the remarkable man ; but that was not the way that our 
French friend worked, as he afterwards disclosed, and the way 
in which it was discovered that this Mimoire was falsely writ- 
ten, is not the least interesting portion of our story. 

Some few years after the Mimoire was published, another 
book appeared at Paris on the same mysterious theme, entitled 
Un Hermaphrodite, Written by M. Jourdan, the editor of the 
Siicle. This book fell under the notice of M. Gaillardet, who 
was surprised to find it no other than a complete reproduction 
of his Memoire ; not only in the parts authentic, but also in 
those fictitious. Of the 301 pages of which Un Hermaphrodite 
is composed, no less than 222 are taken word for word from 
M. Gallairdet's Memoire. The latter seeing this, at once let 
the cat out of the bag, and in the preface to a second edition, 
of which the title was altered to Veriti sur la Chevalier D'Eon, 
he, under the heading of " An Act of Contrition and an Act of 
Accusation," tells us how his Mimoire was composed. 

He was, as he says, a young man about twenty-five years of 
age when he wrote that book ; a friend of Alexander Dumas, 


and fond of the theatre, and stories of complicated intrigues 
tragical amours, and mysterious secrets. The life of the Che- 
valier D'Eon, which he met with at first by mere accident 
struck him with surprise. He immediately saw how it ought 
to be told. The Chevalier dressed himself as a woman, so as 
to carry on his many amorous intrigues, without fear of detec- 
tion, like another Faublas. He said to himself that a man (for 
the Chevalier was a man) who had filled many important diplo- 
matic missions, in the disguise of a woman — for he had officially 
to take this costume — had necessarily many piquant if not ter- 
rible adventures in the course of his career. He thought, at 
the same time in good faith, that he had discovered a clue to 
the whole in the letters of nocturnal audiences granted to him 
by the young queen of England, after the peace of 1763 — a 
peace as necessary, as it was shameful for France ; and as the 
cause of it, the English press accused their minister of being 
corrupted by French diplomacy. His imagination revelled in 
this idea, and the result of this work was, that the M&moire 
was written partly authentic and partly fictitious. In spite of 
that, he concludes, it sold well, and is now out of print. 

Probably it was the last consideration that had most power 
in causing Gaillaxdet to write this most scandalous and un- 
truthful work. How purely French was the idea of thus mak- 
ing D'Eon a second Faublas. And how truly French was the 
system of plagiarism of Jordan, which at last compelled Gail- 
lardet to tell the truth, and to denounce him in the following 
words : 

" The same benignity of spirit has caused my plagiarist to 
adopt also all that I have thought and said of the amours of 
the Chevalier D'Eon, and Charlotte, Duchess of Mecklenburg, 
and Queen of England. He even reproduced, word for word, 
the reflections which I had put into the mouth of my hero on 
the subject — " A Queen to be devoured was, as it appeared to 
me, a morsel too appetising to be regarded with any scruples." 

And M. Gaillardet tells us, minutely, this atrocious fiction 


of an intrigue between the Chevalier and Queen Charlotte over 
and over again. Their stolen interviews are all disclosed by 
this prurient Frenchman. George IV. is again and again 
spoken of as the son of the Chevalier and not of George III. 
Of course, the jealousy of George III. is minutely dwelt upon, 
and we have details of his discovering the Queen and D'Eon 
together at an assignation, at the hour of two o'clock in the 
morning. All the love passages, and all the jealous recrimina- 
tions of the lovers, are fully detailed ; and neither in authentic 
nor fictitious history have we ever found such words as M. 
Gaillardet puts into the mouth of his hero, so applicable to 
any men as himself-— "A Queen to be devoured was, as it ap- 
peared to me, a morsel too appetising to be regarded with any 

Poor Queen Charlotte, that not a painter of the day could 
flatter enough, so as to make her have a beautiful appearance, 
but always seems to us to resemble a cat dressed up, and strange 
to say, that something of the feline character really seems to dis- 
play itself in her history. She surely may put in, " Nae tempta- 
tion," as Burns says, as a plea in her favour. But what are we 
to say of the original inventor of such an atrocious scandal, who 
now in the new edition of his work, totally disavows it ? Truly 
it may be said that the story is too absurd, the book in which 
it is propagated is so little known. But a ridiculously mean 
calumny, such as this is, should always be denounced and ex- 
posed ; and more especially as it has been put in print in a 
book, which professes to be founded upon historical materials. 
In the latter case, the wrong is indefinitely increased ; for it is 
Jiable to be quoted without suspicion, and received as true 
without question. And this very scandal has been so received 
as recently as 1858, and printed in the Nouvelle Biogra/pkie 
GiniraU. It is true that the editor of that work doubts the 
truth of the story ; but nevertheless in his work of recognised 
authority, M. Gaillardet's unworthy figment is treated, not as 
the gross libel which it is, but as the deliberate statement of 


one, who had made the life of the alleged partner of Queen 
Charlotte's misconduct his special study. 

A NOTHER STOEY of world-wide fame deserves to be 
-^*- related in this Book of Wonderful Characters. There 
can be few persons who have not heard of the celebrated Pig- 
Faced Lady, whose history, whether mythical or not, is com- 
mon to several European languages, and is generally related 
in, the following manner. • A newly married lady of rank and 
fashion, being annoyed by the importunities of a wretched 
beggar-woman, accompanied by a dirty, squalling child, ex- 
claimed — " Take away your nasty pig, I shall not give you 
anything !" Whereupon the enraged mendicant, with a bitter 
imprecation related— "May your own child, when it is born, 
be more like a pig than mine !" And, accordingly, shortly after- 
wards the lady gave birth to a child, in which the beggar's un- 
fortunate malediction was impartially fulfilled. It was a girl 
perfectly, nay, beautifully formed in every respect, save that 
its face, some say its whole head, exactly resembled that of a 
pig. This strange child thrived apace, and in course of time 
grew to be a woman, giving the unhappy parents great trouble 
and affliction ; not only by its disgusting features alone, but 
also by its hoggish manners in general, much easier, at the 
present day, to be imagined than minutely described. The 
fond and wealthy parents, however, paid every attention to this 
hideous creature, their only child. Its voracious and indelicate 
appetite was appeased by the coarsest food of a hog, however, 
placed in a silver trough. To the waiting maid, who attended 
on the creature, risking the savage snaps of its beastly jaws, 
and enduring the horrible grunts and squeaks of its discordant 
voice, a small fortune had to be paid in annual wages, yet seldom 
could a person be obtained to fill the disagreeable situation 
longer than a montb. A still greater perplexity ever troubled 
the unfortunate parents, namely, as to what would become of 
the wretched creature after their decease. Counsel learned in 


the law were consulted, who advised that the Pig-Faced Lady 
should be immediately married, the father, besides giving a 
handsome dowry in hand to the happy, or perhaps unhappy, 
bridegroom, he should be termed, settling a handsome annuity 
on the intrepid husband, for as long as she should live. But 
experience proving that after the first introduction, the boldest 
fortune-hunters declined any further acquaintance with her, 
another course was suggested. This was for the parents to 
found an hospital, the trustees of which were to be bound to 
protect and cherish the Pig-Faced damsel, until her death 
relieved them from the unpleasing guardianship. And thus it 
is that, after long and careful researches on the printed' and 
legendary histories of Pig-Faced ladies, the writer has always 
found them wanting either a husband, or a waiting maid, or 
connected with the founding of an hospital. 

But as there are exceptions to all general rules, so there is 
an exceptional story of a Pig-Faced lady ; according to which, 
it appears that a gentleman, whose religious ideas were greatly 
confused by the many jarring sects that sprang into existence 
during the time of the Commonwealth, ended his perplexity 
by embracing the Jewish faith, vainly considering that what 
was once the religion that the Almighty had planted on the 
earth, could not be altogether wrong in his time. But he soon 
found that he had fearfully reckoned without his host. The 
very first. child born to him after this change of religion was a 
Pig-Faced girl. Years passed, and the girl grew to woman- 
hood, without ever receiving an embrace or a kiss from her 
wretched father, for how could a Jew touch the head of an 
unclean beast 1 Did not Wamba, the son of "Witless, the grand- 
son of Weatherbrain, discomfit Isaac, the Jew of York, at the 
tournament of Ashby, with a shield of brawn, and turn him 
out of the gallery by merely presenting it i However, the 
gentleman had to travel on some business to the Netherlands 
where he met with an aged monk, to whom he happened to 
tell the grievous story of his Pig-Faced daughter. The monk 


asked him what he could expect otherwise, and told him that 
his daughter's hideous countenance was a divine punishment 
inflicted on him for his grievous apostacy. The father, now 
seeing his error, caused himself to be reconverted to Christi- 
anity ; and on the Pig-Faced being baptised, a holy miracle 
occurred — a copious ablution of holy water changing the 
beastly features to the divine human face. This remarkable 
story is said to be recorded by a choice piece of monumental 
sculpture erected in one of the grand old cathedrals in Belgium. 
It may, however, be better to take the story as we do our 
wives, " for better, for worse," rather than go so far on so un- 
certain a direction, to look for evidence. 

There are several old works that were considered sound 
scientific treatises in their day, filled with the wildest and most 
extravagant stories of monsters of all descriptions, but not one 
of them, at least as far as our researches extend, mention a pig- 
faced man or woman. St. Hilaire, the celebrated physiologist, 
in his remarkable work on the anomalies of organisation, 
though he ransacks all nature, both ancient and modern, for 
his illustrations, never notices such a being. What, then, it 
may be asked, has caused this very prevalent story ? No doubt 
it was some unhappy malformation, exaggerated as all such 
things are by vulgar report, which gave origin to the tale, sub- 
sequently enlarged and disseminated by catch-penny publica- 
tions of the chap-book kind. There was exhibited in London, 
a few years ago, a female, who, at an earlier period, might 
readily have passed for a pig-faced lady ; though the lower part 
of her countenance resembled that of a dog, much more than a 
pig. This unfortunate creature, called Julia Pastorana, was 
said to be of Spanish-American birth. After being exhibited 
in London, she was taken to the Continent, where she died; and 
such is the indecent cupidity of showmen,- so great is the morbid 
curiosity of sight-seers, that her embalmed remains were again 
exhibited in the metropolis in 1863. The last time, however, 
that her remains were exhibited, few went to see them, and the 


speculation was so far a failure ; but no doubt she has at last 
found her way into the possession of some Barnum, and now 
forms the piece de resistance of an American museum. 

The earliest account of a pig-faced lady that the writer has 
met with, was published in London, in 1641, and entitled, 
A certain relation of the Hog-Faced Gentlewoman. From this pro- 
duction we learn that her name was Tanakin Skinker, and that 
she was born at Wirkham on the Rhine, in 1618. As might 
be expected, in a contemporary Dutch work, which is either a 
translation, or mayhap the original of the English one, she is 
said to have been born at Windsor on the Thames. Miss 
Skinker is described as having : — 

" All the limbs and lineaments of her body well-featured and pro- 
portioned, only her face, which is the orna?nent and beauty of all the 
rest, has the nose of a hog or swine, which is not only a stain and 
blemish, but a deformed ugliness, making all the rest loathsome, con- 
temptible, and odious to all that look on her." 

Her language,- we are further informed, is only the hoggish 
Dutch ough, ough ! or the French owee, owee I Forty thousand 
pounds, we are told, was the sum offered to the man who 
would consent to marry her, and the author says : — 

" This was a bait sufficient to make every fish bite at, for no 
sooner was this publicly divulged, but there came suitors of all 
sorts, every one hoped to carry away the great prize, for it 
was not the person but the prize they aimed at." 

Gallants, we are told, came from Italy, France, Scotland, 
England, and Ireland, of the last we may be sure, to carry 
away the prize, but when they saw the lady, they one and all 
refused to marry her. There is a very characteristic wood-cut 
on the title page of this work, representing a gallant, gaily 
attired, bashfully addressing her ; while bowing, his hat in his 
hand, with the words — " God save you, sweet mistress." She, 
on the other hand, is most magnificently-dressed, and coming 
forward to meet him with the greatest cordiality, can only 
reply with the words — " Ough, ough." 


In the earlier part of this century, there was a hind of pub- 
lication much in vogue, somewhat resembling the more ancient 
broadsides, but better printed, and mostly adorned with a pre- 
tentious coloured engraving. One of these, painted by Mor- 
land, and published by Palmer, forms the frontispiece to the 
present work. And another, published by Fairburn, also gives 
us an exact portrait of her, and her silver trough placed on the 
table by her side. It is a curious circumstance, that both these 
engravings were published in February 1815. And it was a 
general belief then, that a pig-faced lady resided in London, 
from facts which we are just going to relate. How the belief 
arose it is impossible for us to say, there was no person ex- 
hibited at that time to have caused it. But at the illumina- 
tions for the battle of Waterloo, which took place but a few 
months previous, a carriage was observed, and in it a magnifi- 
cently dressed female with a pig's head. She was subsequently 
seen driving about in different parts of London, but there were 
no police then, and the driver of the carriage always succeeded 
in eluding the curiosity of the crowd. Many persons said that 
it was some one wearing [a theatrical mask, even some of the 
newspapers mentioned his name, and we may conclude that it 
was one of the hoaxes so commonly played off in those days. 

However, Fairburn's portrait is accompanied with a consider- 
able portion of letterpress, from which we learn that she was 
then unmarried, and only twenty years of age. She lived, we 
are told, in Manchester Square, and had been born in Ireland 
of a high and wealthy family, and on her life and issue by 
marriage, a very large property depended. 

" This prodigy of nature," says the author, " isthe general topic of 
conversation in the metropolis. In almost every company you may 
join the Pig-Faced lady is introduced ; and her existence is firmly 
believed in by thousands, particularly those in the west end of the 
town. Her person is most delicately formed, and of the greatest 
symmetry; her hands and arms are delicately modelled in the 
happiest mould of nature ; and the carriage of her body, indicative 


of superior birth. Her manners are, in general, simple and un- 
offending ; but when she is in want of food, she articulates, certainly' 
something like the sound of pigs when eating, and which, to those 
who are not acquainted with her, may perhaps be a little disagree- 

She seems, however, to have been disagreeable enough to 
the servant who attended upon her and slept with her ; for this 
attendant, though receiving one thousand pounds per annum, 
as wages, left the situation, and gave the foregoing particulars 
to the publisher. And there can be little doubt that this 
absurd publication of Fairburn, caused a poor simpleton to 
pay for the following advertisement, which appeared in the 
Times of Thursday the 9th of February, 1815 :— 


■**■ Advertisement for a Person to undertake the 
care of a Lady, who is heavily afflicted in the Face, whose 
Friends have offered a handsome Income yearly, and a Pre- 
mium for residing with her seven Years, would do all in her 
power to render her Life most Comfortable ; an undeniable 
Character can be obtained from a respectable Circle of Friends. 
An Answer to this Advertisement is requested, as the Adver- 
tiser will keep herself disengaged. Address, postpaid, to X. Y., 
at Mr. Ford's, Baker, 12, Judd Street, Brunswick Square." 

Another male simpleton, probably misled in a similar man- 
ner, but aspiring to a nearer connection with the Pig-Faced 
lady, thus advertised in the Morning Herald of February 16, 
1815 :— 


■**■ a respectable Family, and in whom the utmost 
Confidence may be reposed, is desirous of explaining his 
Mind to the Friends of a Person who has a Misfortune in her 
Face, but is prevented for want of an Introduction. Being 


perfectly aware of the principal Particulars, and understand- 
ing that a final Settlement would be preferred to a temporary 
one, presumes he would be found to answer the full extent of 
their wishes. His intentions are sincere, honourable, and 
firmly resolved. Eeferences of great respectability can be 
given. Address to M.D., at Mr. Spencer's, 22, Great Ormond 
Sheet, Queen's Square." 

For oral relations of the Pig-Faced lady, we must go to 
Dublin. If we make enquiries there respecting her, we shall 
be shown the hospital founded and endowed on her sole ac- 
count. We will be told that her picture and silver trough are 
to be seen in the building, and that she was christened Chisly, 
on account of her hideous appearance. Any further doubts 
exhibited after receiving this information, will be considered 
as insults to common sense. Now, the history of Steevens' 
Hospital, the institution referred to, is simply this. In 1710, 
Dr. Steevens, a benevolent physician, bequeathed his real 
estate, producing then £600 per annum, to his only sister 
Griselda, during her life, and after her death vested it into 
trustees for the erection and endowment of a hospital. Miss 
Steevens being a lady of practical benevolence, determined 
that the hospital should be built in her lifetime, and devoting 
£450 a year of her income to the purpose, she .collected sub- 
scriptions and donations from every possible quarter, and by 
dint of her unceasing exertions, in a few years succeeded in 
opening a part of the building equal to the accommodation of 
forty patients. Whether it was the uncommon name of Gri- 
selda, or the then uncommon benevolence of this lady that 
gave rise to the vulgar notion respecting her head, will pro- 
bably never be satisfactorily explained. But her portrait 
hangs in the library of the hospital, proving her to have been 
a very pleasant-looking lady, with a peculiarly benevolent cast 
of countenance. 

The idea that Miss Steevens was a pig-faced lady still pre- 
vails among the vulgar in Dublin ; but when the writer was a 
bey, some fifty years ago, everybody believed it. It was cus- 



tomary then, even in genteel society, for parties to be made 
up to go to the hospital, to see the silver trough and the pig- 
faced picture. The matron, or housekeeper, that shewed the 
establishment, never denied the existence of those curiosities, 
but always alleged that she could not show them, implying, 
by her mode of saying it, that she dared not, that to do so 
would be contrary to the stringent orders she had received. 
The matron, no doubt, obtained many a shilling by this mode 
of keeping up the delusion. Besides, many persons who had 
gone to the hospital with the express purpose of seeing the 
trough and picture, did not like to acknowledge that they had 
not seen them. And thus as one fool makes many, there 
were plenty of persons in Dublin ready to swear that these 
curiosities were preserved in the hospital. 

Another instance of the dissemination of this idea, that fell 
strictly within the writer's notice, occurred in the north of 
Ireland. In a certain house there, about fifty years ago, there 
happened to be a large silver punch-bowl, much bruised and 
battered from its long and active service in the cause of Bac- 
chus. The crest of a former proprietor, representing a boar's 
head, was engraved upon it. Now, we are sure that but few 
of our readers will recollect the use of the punch-bowl in pri- 
vate houses, so we must tell them that, altogether apart from 
its well-known inebriating qualities, or rather disqualities, it 
was the dirtiest, sloppiest piece of household stuff ever placed 
upon a table. Even when it was first brought to table, when 
the hands of the dispenser were as steady as punch drinker's 
hands usually are, it was impossible to fill the glasses without 
slopping some of the punch on the table. But when the bowl 
had been replenished half-a-dozen of times or more, the table 
was completely wet, and we have even seen the carpet under- 
neath it in a similar state after a night's hard drinking. So 
we think it was more from that circumstance than froni.^he,. 
disgraceful conduct that the punch-bowl generally led to, for . 
it is a fact, at that time and place, it was considered a rather 


jolly, manly act for a gentleman to be frequently intoxicated;, 
that the lady of the house used to give the name of the pig's- 
trough to the silver punch-bowl. The servants, hearing this, ' 
immediately took up the idea that the mistress's punch-bowl 
had been the pig-faced lady's silver trough, there was no dis- 
abusing their minds of this absurd idea. " Is there not her 
head engraved upon it 1" they used to say, in allusion to the 
crest ; and often and often it has been shown to eager kitchen 
visitors, with sentiments of pride and pleasure that there was 
so great a curiosity in the house. 

The pig-faced lady used to be not unfrequently exhibited in 
travelling caravans at fairs, races, and places of general resort. 
To a quarrel that occurred between a dwarf and a proprietor 
of one of these shows, which led to a magisterial investigation 
at Plymouth some years ago, we are indebted for knowing how 
the deception was made up. The lady was nothing but a bear, 
its face and neck carefully shaved, while the back and top of 
its head was covered by a wig, ringlets, cap, and artificial flowers 
all in the latest fashion. The animal was then securely tied 
in an upright position into a large arm-chair, the cords being 
concealed by the shawl, gown, and other parts of a lady's 
fashionable dress. t 

The wonderful Characters of England, however, are 
quite eclipsed by those generally exhibited by our trans- 
atlantic cousins. If Europe has a burning mountain called 
Vesuvius, has not America a Falls of Niagara, which could put 
the former out in five minutes 1 We shall close this Intro- 
duction with the latest advertisement of. an exhibition taken 
from an American newspaper : — 

*■ on Exhibition in New England. She sings 
duets by herself. She has a great advantage over the 
rest of her sex, for she never has to stop talking to eat, and 
when she is not eating she keeps both tongues going at once. 


She has a lover, and the lover is in a quandary, because at one 
and the same moment she accepted him with one mouth and 
rejected him with the other. He does not know which to be- 
lieve. He wishes to sue for a breach of promise, but this is a 
hopeless experiment, because only-half of the girl has been 
guilty of the breach. This girl has two heads, four arms, and 
four legs, but only one body, and she (or they) is (or are) 
seventeen years old. 

Now is she her own sister ? 

Is she twins 1 

Or having but one body (and consequently but one heart), is 
she strictly but one person ? 

If the above-named young man marries her will he be guilty 
of bigamy ? 

The double girl has only one name, and passes for one girl — 
but when she talks back and forth with herself with her two 
mouths is she soliloquising 1 

Does she expect to have one vote or two ? 

Has she the same opinions as herself on all subjects, or does 
she. differ sometimes? 

Would she feel insulted if she were to spit in her own face 1 

Just at this point we feel compelled to drop this investiga- 
tion, for it is rather too tangled for us. 

P. P.— G. H. 

November 9, 1869. 

It is proper to state that the several biographies in this work have 
not been modernized in any way, but are given in very nearly the 
exact words of the original narratives. There is a piquancy about 
the old narrations which seems to harmonize with tlie subject of 
" Wonderful Characters 1 ' far letter than the cold modern treatment 
of such a theme. 


Battalia, Francis, the Stone-eater ,23 

Bentley, Nathaniel, the Well-known "Dirty Dick" . . { 149 

Bertholde, Prime Minister to- Alboinas . . . . . I 83 

Biffin, Miss, born without Arms [ 338 

Boruwlaski, Joseph, the Polish Dwarf 110 

Britton, Thomas, the Musical Small-coal Man . . . . j 290 

Broughton, John, a Notorious Pugilist 142 ^ 

Brownrigg, Elizabeth, executed for Cruelty and Murder . 340 

Buchinger, Matthew, the Little Man of Nuremburg . • \ 79 ,y 

Capper, Joseph, the Enemy of Flies 353 " 

Carew, Moore, King of the Beggars . . . 216 1 

Clark, Joseph, the Posttire-mdster ; 145 

Cooke, Thomas, the Notorious Islington Miser . . . . ; 227 v 

Cuerton, Daniel, and his Astonishing Feats . . . . I 391 1 


268 ' 

398 ' 

D'Aguilar, Baron, of Starvation Farm . , 
Dancer, Daniel, the Remarkable Miser 
Darney, Jenny, a Character in Cumberland 
D'Eon, the Chevalier, who passed as a Woman 
Desseasau, Chevalier, the Vain Dwarf . 
Dimsdale, Henry, Mayor of Garrat . 
Domery, Charles, the Remarkable Glutton . 
Dunstan, Jeffrey, Mayor of Garrat . 

East, Mary, alias James How : \ 386 

Eaters of Iron : — William Reeves 33 

John Cummings 34 

Elwes, John, the Remarkable Miser 3°5 

Everitt, Thomas Hills, the Enormous Baby .... 350 

Finch, Margaret, Queen of the Gipsies I 35^ , 

Fleigen, Eve, who lived on the Smell of Flowers . . . \ 249 
• Fire and Poison Eaters, &c. — Richardson .... 28 

De Hightrehight . \ 29 

Robert Powell 1 3° 

Gordon, Jemmy, an Eccentric Character, of Cambridge . . I 393 

Hall, Jacob, the Rope-dancer ,7° , 

Harvey, Miss, the Beautiful Albiness 378 

Hawtin, Miss, born without Arms 357 

House, Sam, the Patriotic Publican 379 

Hoyle, Elias, of Sowerby, Yorkshire I 35 2 

Hudson, Jeffery, Dwarf to Charles I. I 33 1 

Hudson, Thomas, remarkable for his Misfortunes . . . | 3°9 


Jenkins, Henry, the Modem Methusaleh . ■ 
Jennings, Henry Constantine, the Remarkable Virtuoso 

Kingston, William, born without Arms , 

Lambert, Daniel, of Surprising Corpulency . n 
Laugher, Thomas, commonly called " Old Tommy 
Lemoine, Henry, an Eccentric Bookseller . 
- Lewson, Jane, an Eccentric Old Lady 
Lav at, Matthew, who crucified Himself 
Lolkes, Wybrand, the Dutch Dwarf . 

Marchand, Floram, the' Great Water-spouter 
M'Avoy, Margaret', the Blind Girl . . 
M 'Donald, Samuel,' commonly called "Big Sam" 
k Moore, Anne, the Fasting Woman 
Morland, George, a Celebrated Painter 

New, Nice, a Well-known Character at Reading. 

■■ Old Boots, of Ripon in Yorkshire 

Parr, Thomas, who died at the Age of 152 Years 
Peter the Wild Boy, of the Woods of Hamelin 
V Powell, Foster, the Astonishing Pedestrian 

Rokeby, Lord, of Singular Eccentricity 
Romondo, George, an Eccentric Mimic 

^ Seurat, Claude Ambroise, the Living Skeleton 

..Smith, John, better known by the Name of Buckhorse 
^ Southcott, Joanna, an .Extraordinary Fanatic . 
Stevenson, William, a. Notorious Beggar 

/Talbot, Mary Anne, the Female Sailor 
v /Teresia, Madam, the Corsicax Fairy . 
~v Terry, Samuel, the Botany Bay Rothschild 

Toby, a Begging Impostor 
•^ Trovillou, Francis, the Horned Man 

V Urslerin, Barbara, the Hairy-faced Woman 

Valerius, John, born without Arms . . 

Whitehead, Miss, the Bank Nun 
Williams, Renwick, commonly called the Monster 
Williamson, Peter, remarkable for his Captivity 
Wood, Thomas, the Abstemious Miller 

Woodcock, Elizabeth, buried in Snow nearly Eight Days 




Francis Battalia, 

The Stone-Eater. 

TN 1641 Hollar etched a print of Francis Battalia, an Italian, 
■*■ who is said to have eaten half a peck of stones a day. Ee- 
specting this individual, Dr. Bulwer, in his Artificial Changer 
ling, .relates that he saw him in London when he was about 
thirty years of age ; that he was born with two stones in one 
hand, and one in the other. As soon as he was born, having 
the breast offered him, he refused to suck, and when they would 
have fed him with pap, he utterly rejected that also. Where- 
upon the midwife and nurse entering into consideration of the 
strangeness of his birth and refusal of all kind of nourishment, 
consulted with some physicians what they should do in this 
case. They, when they saw the infant reject all that they 
could contrive for nourishment, told the women they thought 
that the child brought its meat with it into the world, and that 
it was to be nourished with stones ; whereupon they desired 
the nurse to give him one stone in a little drink, which he very 
readily took into his mouth and swallowed down. When he 
had swallowed all the three stones,' and began to want his 
hard-meat, the physicians advised the nurse to get some small 
pebbles, as like those which he was born with as they could, 
with which kind of nourishment he was brought up, and on 
which he continued to subsist in manhood. Dr. Bulwer thus 
describes his manner of feeding : — " His manner is to put three 


or four stones into a spoon, and so putting them into his mouth 
together, he swallows them all down one after another ; then 
(first spitting) he drinks a glass of beer after them. He de- 
vours about half a peck of these stones every day, and when 
he chinks upon his stomach, or shakes his body, you may hear 
the stones rattle as if they were in a sack, all which in twenty- 
four hours are resolved. Once in three weeks he voids a great , 
quantity of sand, after which he has a fresh appetite for these 
stones, as we have for our victuals, and by these, with a cup of 
beer, and a pipe of tobacco, he has his whole subsistence. He 
has attempted to eat meat and bread, broth and milk, and such 
kind of food, upon which other mortals commonly live ; but 
he could never brook any, neither would they stay with him to 
do him any good. He is a black, swartish little fellow, active 
and strong enough, and has been a soldier in Ireland, where he 
made great use of this property ; for, having the advantage of 
this strange way of alimony, he sold his allowance of food 
sometimes at high rates. At Limerick he sold a sixpenny loaf 
and twopenny worth of cheese for twelve shillings and sixpence. 
It seems the fellow when he first came out was suspected to be 
an impostor, and was, by command of the State, shut up for a 
month, with the allowance of two pots of beer and half an 
ounce of tobacco every day, but was afterwards acquitted from 
all suspicion and deceit." 

There are other remarkable cases of stone-eating on record. 
Platerus speaks of a beggar-boy, who for four farthings would 
suddenly swallow many stones which he met with by chance in 
any place, though they were as big as a walnut, so filling 1 his 
belly that by the collision of them while they were pressed, the 
sound was distinctly heard. Father Paulian says that a true 
lithophagus, or stone-eater, was brought to Avignon in the 
beginning of May, 1760. He not only swallowed flints an 
inch and a half long, a full inch broad, and half an inch thick, 
but such stones as he could reduce to powder, such as marble, 
pebbles, &c, he made up into paste, which was to him a most 
agreeable and wholesome food. Father Paulian examined this 
man with all the attention he possibly could, and found his 


gullet very large, his teeth exceedingly strong, his saliva very 
corrosive, and his stomach lower than ordinary. 

This stone-eater was found on Good Friday, in 1757, in a 
northern inhabited island, by some of the crew of a Dutch 
ship. He was made by his keeper to eat raw flesh with his 
stones ; but could never be got to swallow bread. He would 
drink water, wine, and brandy, which last liquor gave him in- 
finite pleasure. He slept at least twelve hours in a day, sitting 
on the ground with one knee over the other, and his chin 
resting on his right knee. He smoked almost all the time he 
was not asleep, or not eating. Some physicians at Paris got 
him blooded ; the blood had little or no serum, and in two 
hours' time became as fragile as coral. 

He was unable to pronounce more than a few words, such as 
Oui, Non, Caittou, Bon. " He has been taught," adds the pious 
Father, evidently pleased with the docility of his interesting 
pupil, " to make the sign of the cross, and was baptised some 
months ago in the Church of St. Come, at Paris. The respect 
he shows to ecclesiastics, and his ready disposition to please them, 
afforded me the opportunity of satisfying myself as to all these 
particulars ; and / am fully convinced that he is no cheat." 

In 1788, a stone-eater exhibited his wonderful powers of 
eating and swallowing stones at 404, Strand. The following 
is a facsimile of his advertisement ; — 

" An Extraordinary Stone-Eater. 

" The Original 


" The Only One in the World, 

is arrived, and means to perform this, and every day (Sunday 

excepted), at Mr. Hatch's, Trunk Maker, 404, Strand, opposite 




"and ■ 


" and after the Stones are swallowed, may 

" be heard to clink in 

" his Belly, the same as in a Pocket. 

" The present is allowed to be the age of Wonders and Im- 
provements in the Arts. The idea of a Man's flying in the 
Air, twenty years ago, before the discovery of the Use of 
Balloons, would have been laughed at by the most credulous ! 
Nor does the History of Nature afford so extraordinary a Ee- 
lation as that of a Man's EATING and subsisting on Pebble 
Flints, Tobacco Pipes, and Mineral Excrescences : but so it 
is, and the Ladies and Gentlemen of this Metropolis and its 
vicinity have -now an opportunity of witnessing this extra- 
ordinary Fact by seeing . the most Wonderful Phenomenon of 
the Age, who Grinds and Swallows Stones, &c, with as 
much ease as a Person would crack a nut, and masticate the 

" This Extraordinary Stone-Eater appears not to suffer the 
least Inconvenience from so ponderous, and to all other persons 
in the World, so indigestible a Meal, which he repeats from 
twelve at noon till seven. 

* # * " Any Lady or Gentleman may bring Black Flints or 
Pebbles with them. 

" N.B. — His Merit is fully demonstrated by Dr. Munro, in 
his Medical Commentary, 1772, and several other Gentlemen of 
the Faculty. Likewise Dr. John Hunter and Sir Joseph 
Banks can witness the Surprising Performance of this most 
Extraordinary Stone-Eater. 

" Admittance — Two Shillings and Sixpence. 

*** " A Private Performance for Five Guineas, on a short 

A Spanish Stone-Eater was exhibited at the Richmond 
Theatre, August 2, 1790. 


, Still more recently a Stone-Eater invited the Public to wit- 
ness the display of his feats by means of the following hand- 
bill :— 


" The Public are most respectfully informed that the above 
Curious and Wonderful Phenomenon, who was announced for 
Monday, the Tenth of March, at No. 28, Haymarket, will 
commence his Extraordinary Exhibition on Monday next, the 
17th Instant, at the Great Eoom, late Globe Tavern, corner of 
Craven Street, Strand. 

" To be seen every Day, from Eleven in the Morning till 
Five o'clock in the Afternoon. 

" Admittance — Half-a-Crown. 

"N.B. — Such persons as please may bring Stones with 

\* " The Stone-Eater begs to inform those Ladies and Gen- 
tlemen who have expressed a desire to see him, that he shall 
be happy to gratify their .curiosity, when he is not publicly en- 

Fire and" Poison Eaters, &e. 

TT seems at first sight difficult to account for the strange phe- 
*■ nomenon of a human and perishable creature eating red-hot 
coals, taken indiscriminately out of a large fire ; broiling steaks 
upon his tongue ; swallowing huge draughts of liquid fire as 
-greedily as a country squire does roast beef and strong beer. 
How can that element which we are told • is ultimately to de- 
vour all things, be devoured itself, as familiar diet, by a mortal 

Sir Henry Wotton, in a letter to one of his correspondents,* 

* Seliquice Wottonianm, ed. 1685. 


dated June 3rd, 1633, speaks of " a strange thing to be seen in 
London for a couple of pence, which I know not whether I 
should call a piece of art or nature. It is an Englishman like 
some swabber of a ship come from the Indies, where he has 
learned to eat fire as familiarly as ever I saw any eat cakes, 
even whole glowing brands, which he will crash with his teeth, 
and swallow. I believe he hath been hard famished in the 
Terra de Fuego, on the south of the Magellan strait." 

The secret of fire-eating was made public by a servant of 
the celebrated Richardson, who showed it in France about the 
year 1 667, and was oneof thefirst performers of the kind that ever 
appeared in Europe. It consists only in rubbing the hands, and 
thoroughly washing the mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, and other 
parts that are to touch the fire, with pure spirit of sulphur. 
This burns and cauterises the epidermis, or upper skin, till it 
becomes as hard as thick leather, and every time the experi- 
ment is tried it becomes still easier than before. The bad 
effects which the frequent swallowing of red-hot coals, melted 
sealing-wax, resin, brimstone, and other calcined and inflam- 
mable matter, might have had upon his -stomach, were pre- 
vented by drinking plentifully of warm water and oil, as soon 
as he left the company, till he had vomited all up again. 

John Evelyn records having witnessed the feats of Richard- 
son, in the autumn of 1672, at Leicester House, the residence 
of Lady Sunderland. " He before us devoured brimstone on 
" glowing coals, chewing and swallowing them ; he melted a 
" beer-glass, and eat it quite up ; then taking a live coal on 
" his tongue, he put on it a raw oyster. The coal was blown 
" on with bellows till it flamed and sparkled in his mouth, and 
" so remained till the oyster gaped and was quite broiled ; then 
" he melted pitch and wax with sulphur, which he drank down 
" as it flamed. I saw it flaming in his mouth a good while. 
" He took up a thick piece of iron, such as laundresses use to 
" put in their smoothing boxes ; when it was fiery hot, held it 
" between his teeth, then in his hand, and threw it about like 
" a stone ; but this I observed he cared not to hold very long. 
" Then he stood on a small pot, and bending his body, took a 


" glowing iron with his mouth from between his feet, without 
" touching the pot or ground with his hands, with divers other 
" prodigious feats."* 

Madame de Sevigne, in one of her delightful letters, dated 
30th June, 1680, describes a man who waited upon her from 
Vitre, who dropped into his mouth and upon his hand ten or 
twelve drops of melted sealing-wax, as if it had been so much 
cold water, and without the slightest semblance of pain ; nor 
did his tongue or hand show the least sign of burn or injury 
whatever. She seems to consider it as a miracle ; but in a 
half-bantering mood asks what will become of the proofs of 
innocence, so much depended upon in former ages, from the 
ordeal by fire ? 

One of the amusements of 1718 was the juggling exhibition 
of afire-eater, whose name was De Hightrehight,! a native of 
the valley of Annivi, in Savoy, amongst the Alps that divide 
Italy from Switzerland. This tremendous person ate burning 
coals, chewed flaming brimstone, and swallowed it ; licked a 
red-hot poker ; placed a red-hot heater on his tongue ; kindled 
coals on his tongue ; suffered them to be blown, and broiled 
meat on them ; ate melted pitch, brimstone, bees'-wax, sealing- 
wax, and resin, with a spoon ; and to complete the business, he 
performed all these marvels five times a-day, at the Duke of 
Marlborough's Head, in Fleet Street, for the trifling sums of 
2«. 6d., Is. 6d., and Is. Master Hightrehight had the honour 
of exhibiting before Louis XIV, the Kaiser, the King of Sicily, 
the Doge of Venice, and an infinite number of princes and 
nobles — including the Prince of Wales, who had nearly lost 
this inconceivable pleasure by the envious interposition of the 
Inquisition at Bologna and in Piedmont, which Holy Office 
seemed inclined to try their mode, of burning on his body, leav- 
ing to him the care of resisting the flames, and rendering them 
harmless. He was, however, preserved from the unwelcome 
ordeal by the interference of the Duchess Eoyal Eegent of 
Savoy, and the Marquis Bentivoglio. 

* Evelyn's Diary, 8th October, 1672. f By some spelt Heiterlceit. 


But perhaps the most remarkable of all fire-eaters was the 
famous Robert Powell, who exhibited in public from the year 
1718 to 1780, as may be collected from his advertisements 
during that period, one of which runs as follows : 


" Please to observe that there are two different performances 
the same Evening, will be performed by the famous 

" Mr. Powell, Fire-Eater, from London : 

who has had the honour to exhibit with universal applause,, 
the most surprising performances that were ever attempted by 
mankind, before His Royal Highness William late Duke of 
Cumberland, at Windsor Lodge, May 7, 1752 ; before His 
Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, at Gloucester House, 
January 30, 1769 ; before His Royal Highness the present 
Duke of Cumberland, at Windsor Lodge, September 25, 1769 ; 
before Sir Hans Sloane and several of the Royal Society, 
March 4, 1751, who made Mr. Powell a compliment of a purse 
of gold, and a fine, large silver medal, which the curious may 
view by applying to him ; and before most of the Nobility and 
Quality in the Kingdom. 

" He intends to sup on the following articles : — 
" 1. — He eats red-hot coals out of the fire as natural as 
bread. 2. — He licks with the naked tongue red-hot tobacco 
pipes, flaming with brimstone. 3. — He takes a large bunch of 
deal matches, lights them all together; and holds them in his 
mouth till the flame is extinguished. 4. — He takes a red-hot 
heater out of the fire, licks it with his naked tongue several 
times, and carries it round the room between the teeth. 5. — 
He fills his mouth with red-hot charcoal, and broils a slice of 
beef or mutton upon his tongue, and any person may blow the 
fir-e-with a nair of bellows aff the same time. 6. — He takes a 
quantity of resin, pitch, bpes'-wax, sealing-wax, brimstone,' 
alum, and lead, melts them together over a chafing dish of 


coals, and eats the same combustibles with, a spoon, as if it 
were a porringer of broth (which he calls his dish of soup), 
to the great and agreeable surprise of the spectators ; with 
various other extraordinary performances never attempted by 
any other person of this age, and there is scarce a possibility 
ever will ; so that those who neglect this opportunity of seeing 
the wonders performed by this artist, will lose the sight of the 
most amazing exhibition ever done by man. 

" The doors to be opened by six, and he sups precisely at 
seven o'clock, without any notice given by the sound of trum- 

" If gentry do not choose to come at seven o'clock, no per- 

" Price of admittance to Ladies and Gentlemen, One Shil- 
ling. Back Seats for Children and Servants, Six-pence. 

" Ladies and children may have a private performance any 
hour of the day, by giving previous notice. 

" N.B. — He displaces teeth or stumps so easily as scarce to 
be felt. He sells a chymical liquid which discharges inflam- 
mation, scalds, and burns, in a short time, and is necessary to 
be kept in all families. His stay in this place will be but 
short, not exceeding above two or three nights. 

" Good fire to keep the gentry warm." 

" Such is his passion," says a contemporary writer, " for this 
terrible element, that if he were to come hungry into your 
kitchen, while a sirloin was roasting, he would eat up the fire 
and leave the beef. It is somewhat surprising that the friends 
of real merit have not yet promoted him, living as we do in an 
age favourable to men of genius. Obliged to wander from 
place to place, instead of indulging himself in private with his 
favourite dish, he is under the uncomfortable necessity of eating 
in public, and helping himself from the kitchen fire Of some 
paltry- ale-house yec the eountry."'* ' ■■■! i ■- ■■■• - -- - -• v 

* Lounger's Common Place Book. 


CHAMOUNI was a celebrated Eussian salamander ; he was 
insensible, for a given time, to the effects of heat. He was re- 
markable for the simplicity and singleness of his character, as 
well as for that idiosyncracy in his constitution, which enabled 
him for so many years, not merely to brave the effects of fire, 
but to take delight in an element where other men find destruc- 
tion. He was above all artifice, and would often entreat his 
visitors to melt their own lead, or boil their own mercury, that 
they might be perfectly satisfied of the gratification he derived 
from drinking those preparations. He would also present his 
tongue, in the most obliging manner, to all who wished, to 
pour melted lead upon it, and stamp an impression of their 

The Paris newspapers of April, 1830, make mention of a 
man of the name of Jean Pierre Decure, thirty years of age, 
a native of Africa, who was then at Douai, and who could 
swallow with impunity all sorts of poisons, arsenic, sulphuric 
acid, corrosive sublimate, and devour live coals. 

Some years ago there was living at Constantinople an extra- 
ordinary man, of the name of Soliman, an eater of corrosive 
sublimate, of the age of 106 years. In his early life he accus- 
tomed himself, like other Turks, to the use of opium, but 
having augmented his dose to a great quantity without expe- 
riencing the desired effect, he adopted the use of sublimate, 
and had taken it for more than thirty years, to the amount of 
a drachm, or sixty grains, daily. One day he went into the 
shop of a Jew apothecary, to whom he was unknown, and 
asked for a drachm of sublimate ; he mixed it in a glass of 
water, and swallowed it instantly. The apothecary was dread- 
fully frightened, because he knew the consequences of being 
accused of poisoning a Turk ; but what was his astonishment 
when he saw the same man return the next day for another 
dose of an equal quantity. It is said that Lord Elgin and 
other Englishmen were acquainted with this extraordinary 
man, and heard him declare that his enjoyment after having 
taken this active poison was the greatest he ever felt from any 
cause whatever, 


In 1788 a most surprising and wonderful " Sideropliagus," 
or eater of iron, exhibited himself " to the generous and scien- 
tific inhabitants of this country," at the Great Auction Boom 
in Piccadilly. He professed to eat and digest iron in any 
shape, with a most surprising facility, and to break, chew, 
craunch, and masticate the hardest iron that could be found. 
Those who were desirous of being convinced of his wonderful 
powers, were invited to bring a bunch of keys, a bolt, or a 
poker, which he offered to digest with as much ease as if they 
were gingerbread. He was " to be seen only a few nights 
longer, as he was engaged at the Cannon Company to smooth 
their cannons by biting off the rough pieces previous to the 
cannon being bored." He also cautioned the public that he 
had no connexion with any eater of stones or flints. 

His wife was, it would seem, a person no less extraordinary 
than himself. She displayed her powers at the same place and 
time, and while he was biting off bars of iron, the lady in 
another part of the building, was electrifying the spectators by 
drinking off bumpers of aqua fortis, or oil of vitriol. She in- 
vited chemists to bring their own aqua fortis of any strength 
whatever, and undertook to swallow the liquor without any 
wry faces or contortions, and as pleasantly and easily as if it 
were small beer. 

The price of admission to both entertainments was half-a- 
crown to genteel people ; but this precious pair of impostors 
had the amusing impertinence to announce that they exhibited 
at half-price for the benefit of the poor ; " when the Siderophagus 
devoured pins, needles, wires, and nut-crackers " (and such-like 
smaller articles) ; and his wife drank wine, ether, and other 
weaker liquors. — 

In 1746, a "Welsh labourer, named Reeves Williams, living 
near Cardigan, a stout, hale fellow, of very ruddy complexion, 
and about twenty-seven years of age, exhibited himself to the 
neighbouring gentry at sixpence a-head, and swallowed four 
pieces of iron of an inch-and-a-quarter long, and three-quarters 
of an inch broad, and of considerable thickness. These he had 
made by the smith of the town, and always carried some of 



them about him ; but besides these, he swallowed stones, half- 
pence, and many other things of the same kind. He called 
himself the man-ostrich. His intention was to proceed to 
London, and show himself publicly, but whether he ever 
reached the capital is uncertain. 

In June, 1799, John Cummings, an American sailor, aged 
about twenty-three, having seen a man near Havre-de-Grace 
amuse a crowd of people by pretending to swallow clasp-knives, 
returned on board and told his shipmates what he had seen, 
and being rather fresh with liquor, boasted he could swallow 
knives as well as the Frenchman. Being pressed to do it, he 
did not like to go against his word, and having a good supply 
of grog inwardly, he took his own pocket-knife, and on trying 
to swallow it, it slipped down his throat with great ease, and 
by the assistance of some drink was conveyed into his stomach. 
The spectators, however, were not satisfied with one experi- 
ment, and asked the operator whether he could swallow more ? 
His answer was—" All the knives on board the ship ;" upon 
which three knives were immediately produced, which were 
swallowed in the same way as the former ; and by this bold 
attempt of a drunken man, the company was well entertained 
for that night. The next day he passed one of the knives, 
which was not the one that he had swallowed first ; and the 
day afterwards he passed two knives at once, one of them 
being that which he first swallowed. The other, according to 
his knowledge, remained in the stomach, but he never felt any 
inconvenience from it. 

After this extraordinary performance, he thought no more of 
swallowing knives for the next six years. In March, 1805, 
being then at Boston, in America, he was one day tempted, 
while drinking with a party of sailors, to boast of his former 
exploits, adding that he was the same man still, and ready to 
repeat his performance. A small knife was thereupon pro- 
duced, which he instantly swallowed. In the course of the 
evening he swallowed five more. The next morning crowds of 
visitors came to see him ; and in the course of that day he was 
induced to swallow eight knives more, making in all fourteen I 


He, however, paid dearly for this frolic. He was seized with 
constant vomiting and pain in his stomach ; but, as he related, 
between that time and the 28th of the following month, he 
got rid of the whole of his cargo. At Spithead, December 4th, 
in the same year, he was challenged to repeat his feats, and 
" disdaining to be worse than his word," in the course of the 
evening he swallowed five knives. The ship's company, next 
morning, expressed a great desire to see him repeat the per- 
formance, and he complied with his usual readiness ; and by 
the encouragement of the people, and the assistance of good 
grog, he swallowed that day nine clasp knives, some of which 
were very large ; and he was afterwards assured by the specta- 
tors that he had swallowed four more ; which, however, he de- 
clared he knew nothing about, being, no doubt, at this period 
of the business too much intoxicated to have any recollection 
of what was passing. This, however, is the last performance 
recorded ; it made a total of at least thirty-five knives swallowed 
at different times ; and the last attempt ultimately put an end 
to his existence. On the following 6th December he became 
much indisposed ; and after various applications, about three 
months afterwards, he felt, as he expressed himself, the knives 
"dropping down his bowels." He continued dreadfully ill. 
In 1807 he was in Guy's Hospital, under Dr. Babington ; and 
he there continued, intervals excepted, under that physician, 
and afterwards under Dr. Curry, till March, 1809. After 
having gradually and miserably sunk under his suffering, he 
then died, in a state of extreme emaciation. 



Miss Whitehead, 

The Bank Nun. 

IV/riSS SAEAH WHITEHEAD, of Bank notoriety, was 
■^ * -*- called by the clerks of that establishment the Bank Nun, 
from the peculiarity of her dress, which was really emblematic 
of her mind. The merchants, who used to be very liberal to- 
wards her, and many of whom never suffered her to pass without 
extending their assistance, called her the Rouge et Noir of the 
city. The clerks of the Bank, and the gentlemen of the Eotunda 
and Stock Exchange, all contributed occasionally towards her 
support. Alderman Birch was a true friend to her, and ever after 
the untimely end of her brother, he allowed her a small 
annuity, which was regularly paid to her every week by a lady 
in the city, who kindly undertook the office, to save her the 
trouble of going out of the city to the residence of her bene- 
factor. Her existence depended entirely on the bounty of 

Her father had been a respectable man, esteemed for his in- 
tegrity and morality by all who knew him. He held a situation 
of importance in the Post-Office, and his income not only enabled 
him to educate his family liberally, but also to lay by something 
for a rainy day. 

Her brother held a situation as clerk in the Bank, which he 
filled for some years with much satisfaction to his employers ; 
but being rather too high-minded for his income, and possessing 
a most gentlemanly address, his company was courted by persons 
of independent fortune. Being flattered on all sides, with 
means unequal to support the position he had now assumed in* 
society ; having taken a splendid establishment, wherein his 
sister, the unfortunate woman before us, was appointed mistress 
and superintended his domestic arrangements, organized the 
servants, received visitors, and in fact conducted everything as 
if she had been one of the first ladies of the land— her education 
having well qualified her for the task— he commenced dabbling 





in the stocks, hoping thereby to increase his means, if not to 
make a splendid fortune. 

This proceeding, however, reached the ears of the directors, 
who, unwilling to enforce the penalty of such a violation of 
their rules and orders, only rebuked him, accompanying it 
with an assurance, that if continued, his discharge was certain. 
This check was too much for his pride to brook, and after a 
few weeks he sent in his resignation. The step gave some 
offence to his real friends, but as he persevered in the business 
of stock-jobbing, and appeared to be flourishing, they thought 
it would turn out for the best ; but unfortunately it proved his 
ruin. The higher he rose upon the unsubstantial ladder of 
speculation the more means he required for his extravagances. 
High company dazzled his imagination, and capricious fortune 
turning her back upon him, the bubble of his golden dream 

Hungry creditors, who miscalculate on the stability of their 
betters, become clamourous for their accounts. "Want planted 
a withering finger where luxury had before revelled. Despair 
seized him, and, hurried on by the fiends, he associated 
himself with the notorious Roberts, who raised heavy sums of 
money among the Hebrew tribes of London by representing 
himself as the heir of Northumberland, and absolutely effected 
a mortgage on the Duke's estate, with many other expert for- 
geries, which, however, could not be proved in a legal way to 
make "him amenable to the laws of his country. With this 
man poor "Whitehead had sundry unlawful dealings, but all 
proved abortive, for in an unpropitious hour he committed a 
forgery for a large amount in the " Old Navy Fives," and the 
transaction being discovered through the house of Robarts, 
Curtis, and Company, he was prosecuted at the Old Bailey. 
The cheque being clearly proved to be in his handwriting, left 
no doubt upon the minds of the jury, who found him guilty. 
Death was pronounced to be his doom, and he was conveyed to 
the condemned cell to ruminate upon that conduct which it 
was now too late to remedy. 
The whole of this unfortunate affair was carefully concealed 


from his sister ; and poor Sarah was removed to the house of a 
friend in Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, in order that she 
should not hear the knell of St. Sepulchre's Church toll his 

His long absence began to prey upon her spirits, and, like 
the rose plucked from its parent stem, she lost her beauty and 
began to droop. She had felt the force of unrequited love, 
which assisted the melancholy that now took possession of her. 
Unable to account for his continued absence from home, and 
fancying that he had formed a matrimonial alliance, she one 
day, without the knowledge of her friends, proceeded to the 
bank to satisfy her suspicions, when an unthinking fellow clerk 
informed her of his crime and ignominidus death. The horrible 
intelligence was too much for her affectionate mind : she ut- 
tered not a word, shed not a tear ; but stood pale and motion- 
less as marble. This shock entirely overturned her mind ; and 
the amiable Sarah, just bursting forth in all her prime of 
womanhood and beauty, having been ripened by hardly twenty 
summers, became an utter wreck. 

In a dress of sable, with painted face, and head enveloped 
with a sort of coronet fancifully decked out with streamers of 
black crape, and reticule hung on her arm, she daily attended 
at the Bank, where she continued loitering about for hours, 
waiting for her brother, under the belief that he was still em- 
ployed in the establishment. Being in decayed circumstances, 
the governors of the Bank frequently presented her with sums 
of money in compliment to her misfortunes : and the clerks 
were equally mindful of her situation. She imbibed a peculiar 
impression, emanating, no doubt, from early dreams of pride, 
that the directors of the Bank kept her out of immense sums of 
money, which upon some occasions worked her up to insult her 
benefactors by making violent demands upon them for it, 
during the hours of business, and obliged them, however pain- 
ful it might be to their own feelings, to interdict her admission 
to any part of the building : this, however, was observed but 
for a time. Upon one occasion she attacked Baron Eothschild 
upon the Stock Exchange, in the midst of his business, and 



<%/" rl"s'/) / // > //■ 


after calling him a villain and a robber, telling him he had 
defrauded her of her fortune, demanded the £2000 he owed 
her ; upon which, after casting his eye upon her for a moment, 
he took half-a-crown from his waistcoat-pocket, and giving it to 
her, said : " There, then, take that, and don't "bother nie now ; 
I'll give you the other half to-morrow ■" upon which she 
thanked him and went away. 

She might be found every day in the purlieux of the Bank, 
or at one of the chop-houses in Threadneedle Street, where she 
generally dropped in to dine, and would not refuse a glass of 
brandy when offered to her. This she always acknowledged in 
a most lady-like manner, drank off, and departed. 

After more than twenty-five years of this strange life, her 
appearance, between the age of fifty and sixty, became very 
much altered. She broke very fast, and at length, some time 
before her death, discontinued altogether her visits to the Bank. 

Daniel Dancer, 

The Remarkable Miser. 

pvANIEL DANCER was born in 1716, in the hamlet of 
*-* Weald, in the neighbourhood of Harrow. He was 
descended from a respectable yeoman's family in the county 
of Hertford, and his grandfather appears to have been 
settled at Bushy, near Watford, where he followed the profit- 
able occupations of mealman and maltster. His father, who 
resided at Stone-causeway, on Harrow Weald Common, pos- 
sessed considerable property in land, which he farmed himself : 
he had four children, three sons and a daughter ; and on his 
death, in 1736, his eldest son Daniel succeeded to the estate. 

It has somewhere been asserted, that there never yet were 
three successive generations of misers ; the Dancers, however, 
form a special exception to this rule, for it is an undoubted fact, 
that the grandfather, the father, and all the children, were 
strictly entitled to this appellation ! Their characters, how- 


ever, were of a peculiar cast ; for it was the ambition and the 
occupation of their lives, not to accumulate for the sake of their 
offspring, or relatives, or posterity, or themselves, but from the 
same principle that the magpie is said to steal gold — merely 
for the pleasure of hiding it ! 

Concerning the grandfather but few traditional anecdotes 
have been handed down. But Daniel was satisfied that his 
father had concealed money to the amount of more than fifteen 
hundred pounds in the premises occupied by him, and this 
occasioned no little uneasiness ; but it did not proceed from 
the fear of its not being discovered, but from the dread lest his 
brothers might find it, and not deliver it to him. This ren- 
dered him cautious of mentioning his suspicions ; and it was 
full two years before any part of it was found. At length, on 
removing an old gate, about two hundred pounds in gold and 
bank notes, which had been concealed between two pewter 
dishes under one of the posts, were fortunately disinterred. 
The rest was never heard of. 

It was in the paternal mansion at Astmiss, at Causeway- 
gate, on Harrow Weald Common, that Daniel was doomed by 
the fates to spend the whole of his life, which seems to have 
been one uninterrupted dreary blank. His wretched habita- 
tion was surrounded by about eighty acres of his own rich 
meadow land, with some of the finest oak timber in the kingdom 
upon it ; and he possessed an adjoining farm, called Wal- 
dos ; the whole of the annual value of about two hundred 
and fifty pounds, if properly cultivated. But cultivation 
was expensive, and so Daniel permitted grass only to grow 
there : indeed, in so neglected a state was the place for many 
years, that the house was entirely surrounded by trees, the 
fields choked up with underwood, and the hedges of such an 
amazing height as wholly to exclude the prospect of mankind, 
and create a dreary gloom all around. 

Dancer's house exhibited a complete picture of misery and 
desolation. Among other odd circumstances, a tree had 
actually pushed its top through the roof, and contributed not a 
little, by means of its branches, to shelter the wretched inhabit- 


ants from the inclemency of the weather. The following lines, 
by Pope, are equally characteristic of this old man and his 
habitation : — 

What tho' (the use of barbarous spits forgot) 
His kitchen vied in coolness with his grot ; 
His court with nettles, moats with cresses stored ; 
"With soups unbought, and salads, blest his board ? 

If Cotta lived on pulse, it was no more 
Than Brahmins, saints, and sages, did before : 
To cram the rich was prodigal expense, 
And who would take the poor from Providence ? 

Like some old Chartreux stands the good old hall, 
Silence without and fasts within the wall ; 
No sculptured roofs with dance and tabor sound, 
No noontide bell invites the country round ; 
Tenants, with sighs, the smokeless towers survey, 
And turn the unwilling steeds another way ; 
Benighted wanderers the forest o'er 
Curse the saved candle and unopening door ; 
"While the gaunt mastiff, growling at the gate, 
Affrights the beggar, whom he longs to eat. 

Dancer had a sister, who lived with him till her death, and 
whose disposition exactly corresponded with his own. The 
fare of this saving couple was invariably the same. On a 
Sunday they boiled a sticking of beef, with fourteen hard 
dumplings, which always lasted during the whole week ; an 
arrangement which no consideration could induce them to alter, 
except through some circumstance like the following. Dancer 
accustomed himself to wander over the common in search of 
any stray locks of wool, cast horse-shoes, old iron, or pieces of 
paper, and even to collect the dung of sheep under the hedges. 
In one of these perambulations, he found a sheep which had 
died from natural disease ; this prize he instantly threw over 
his shoulder and carried home, when after being skinned and 
cut up, Miss Dancer made it into a number of pies, of which 
they were extremely frugal while they lasted. 

Had not Miss Dancer lived in an enlightened age, she would 
most certainly have run the risk of incurring the penalties 
inflicted on those unhappy wretches accused of witchcraft ; so 
perfectly did her appearance agree with the ideas attached to a 


witch. She seldom stirred out of her miserable hut, except 
when alarmed by the cries of huntsmen and hounds : on such 
occasions she used to sally forth, armed with a pitchfork, with 
which she endeavoured to repel the progress of these intruders 
on her brother's grounds ; and her appearance was rather that 
of a moving mass of rags, than of a human being. 

During her last illness, her brother was frequently requested 
to procure medical assistance for her. His reply was, " Why 
should I waste my money, in wickedly endeavouring to coun- 
teract the will of Providence 1 If the old girl's time is come, 
the nostrums of all the quacks in Christendom cannot save her : 
and she may as well die now as at any future period." Of 
lawyers and physicians he entertained a very unfavourable 
opinion. Sooner than have any connection with a lawyer, he 
said, he would deal with the devil ; and to use his own ex- 
pression, " All the gentlemen of the faculty are medical tinkers, 
who, in endeavouring to patch up one blemish in the human 
frame, never fail to make ten.'' He thought bellows-makers, 
undertakers, and trunk-makers very extravagant fellows, on 
account of their great waste of nails, which profusion he held to 
be unnecessary. 

The only food he offered his sister during her indisposition 
was her usual allowance of cold dumpling and sticking of beef, 
accompanied with the affectionate declaration, that if she did 
not like it, she might go without. The kindness of Lady 
Tempest and Captain Holmes, who inherited the whole of Mr. 
Dancer's fortune, made ample amends for her brother's inhu- 
manity, and soothed her dying moments. In consideration of 
her tenderness, Miss Dancer intended to have left Lady 
Tempest the property she possessed, to the amount of £2000. 
She, however, expired before she signed her will, which she 
had directed to be made, on which her two other brothers, who 
were equally celebrated for parsimony, put in their claim for a 
share of her fortune. To this proposal Daniel refused to 
accede, and a lawsuit ensued ; the result was, that he recovered 
£1040 of his sister's property, as the price of her board for 
thirty years, at £30 per annum, and £100 for the two last 


years, in which he declared she had done nothing but eat and 
he in bed. What remained after these deductions was equally 
divided among the three brothers. 

Although Daniel never evinced any affection for his sister, 
he determined to bury her in such a manner as should not 
disgrace the family. He accordingly contracted with an under- 
taker, who agreed to take timber in return for a coffin, as Mr. 
Dancer had no idea of using the precious metals as a vehicle of 
exchange ; he, however, could not be prevailed upon to pur- 
chase proper mourning for himself : yet, in consequence of the 
entreaty of his neighbours, he unbound the haybands with 
which his legs were usually covered, and drew on a second- 
hand pair of black worsted stockings. His coat was of a 
whitish-brown colour ; his waistcoat had been black about the 
middle of the last century ; and the immediate covering to his 
head, which seemed to have been taken from Mr. Elwes's 
vAggcry, and to have descended to Daniel as an heirloom, gave 
a grotesque appearance to the person of a chief mourner, but 
too well calculated to provoke mirth. This, indeed, was in- 
creased by the slipping of his horse's girth at the place of 
burial j in consequence of which the rider, to the great diver- 
sion of some of the Harrow boys who attended, was precipi- 
tated into the grave ! 

After the death of his sister, and near the close of his own 
life, finding himself lonesome, he hired a man for his com- 
panion, who was a proper counterpart of himself. This ser- 
vant, Griffiths, had, by severe parsimony, contrived to accumu- 
late £500 out of wages which had never exceeded .£10 per 
annum. At the time he hired with Mr. Dancer, he was about 
sixty years of age, and his wages were eighteen^pence per week. 
He assisted his master in picking up bones, &c. ; accordingly, 
when they went out, they took different roads for the same 
purpose ; but Griffiths having a taste for strong beer, would 
tipple a little, which was the cause of much altercation at 
night, when he returned home to his master. 

From a principle of rigid economy, Mr. Dancer rarely 
washed his hands and face ; and when he did, it was always 


without the assistance of either soap or towel. Dispensing 
with those articles of expensive luxury, he used, when the sun 
shone, to repair to. a neighbouring pool, and after washing him- 
self with sand, he would lie on his back in the sun to dry 
himself. His tattered garments, which were scarcely sufficient 
to cover his nakedness, were kept together by a strong hay- 
band, which he fastened round his body. His stockings were 
so patched, that not a vestige of the original could be perceived, 
and in cold and dirty weather he wound about his legs ropes 
of hay, so that, his whole figure presented the most striking 
picture of misery that can possibly be conceived. 

At one period of his life, he used annually to purchase two 
shirts, but for several years preceding his death, he allowed 
himself only one. This he bought at some old clothes shop, 
and seldom exceeded half-a-crown in price. After coming into 
his possession, it never underwent the operations of washing or 
mending, nor did he ever change it till it dropped from his 
back in rags. In making one of these purchases, he was in- 
volved in an affair which gave him no small trouble and un- 
easiness. Being desired by the mistress of a shop, to which he 
went to purchase an old shirt, to mention his price, he told her 
" as much under three shillings as possible." A shirt was ac- 
cordingly produced, for which, after bargaining a long time, 
Dancer, as he declared, agreed to give two shillings and nine- 
pence. He gave the woman three shillings, and waited for the 
change, but to his mortification and surprise, she refused to 
give any, positively asserting that he had agreed to take the 
shirt at the price she had received. Eemonstrances were vain, 
and to suffer such a diminution of his property without endea- 
vouring to obtain redress, he regarded as criminal. He there- 
fore summoned the woman to a court of conscience, and to 
support his claim made two journeys to town ; but after a full 
hearing, the poor man was not only nonsuited, but obliged to 
pay the costs of the court, to the enormous amount of five 
shillings. To add to his vexation, his two journeys had put, 
him to the additional expense of threepence more ; for it can 
scarcely be supposed that a man of his age and wealth could 


travel on foot fifteen miles, and back again on the same day, 
without the extraordinary indulgence of a pennyworth of bread 
and cheese, and a halfpenny worth of small beer. At this 
time Mr. Dancer was in the possession of property to the 
amount of .£3000 a year ! 

When his sister died, he had a pair of sheets on his bed, 
which he would never suffer to be removed : but lay in them 
till they were worn out. He would not allow his house to be 
cleaned, and the room in which he lived was nearly filled with 
sticks he had collected from his neighbours' hedges. He was 
for many years his own cobbler, and the last pair of shoes he 
wore had become so large and ponderous, from the frequent 
soles and coverings they had received, that they rather resem- 
bled hog-troughs than shoes. 

He gathered in his rambles all the bones he met with : 
these he first picked himself, and then broke in pieces for his 
dog Bob. His conduct to this favourite, whom he always 
called " Bob my child," affords a striking instance of human 
inconsistency ; for while he himself would swill the pot liquor 
of Lady Tempest's kitchen, to save the expense of a penny, 
Bob was allowed a pint of milk daily. His affection for this 
domestic was, nevertheless, overpowered by a consideration 
which, with him, carried irresistible weight. Complaints were 
made to him that Bob had worried some sheep : on this he 
took the dog to a blacksmith's shop, where he ordered all his 
teeth to be broken off short, to prevent a repetition of the mis- 
chief, for which he might probably have been compelled to 
make compensation. 

Snuff was a luxury in which it is natural to suppose that 
he never indulged ; yet he always begged a pinch from those 
who did. In this manner he used in about a month to fill a 
snuff-box, which he always carried in his pocket. He then ex- 
changed its contents at a chandler's shop for a farthing candle, 
which was made to last till he had again filled his box, as he 
never suffered any light in his house, except when he was 
going to bed. — A horse which he kept for some time was never 


allowed more than two shoes, for his fore-feet ; to shoe the 
hind feet, being, in his opinion, an unnecessary expense. 

His wealth was thus productive of no other enjoyment than 
the sordid and unavailing one arising from the contemplation 
of riches which he did not dare to enjoy ; on the contrary, it 
seemed to carry a curse along with it, and to engender a variety 
of calamities to the wretched possessor. During the time he 
lived alone, after the death of his sister (for he never could 
prevail upon himself to be at the expense of a wife), the temp- 
tation to rob the old miser proved irresistible to those who 
lived by rapine ; indeed, there is some reason to suppose that 
they contemplated the plunder of a man of his penurious dis- 
position with but little compunction or remorse : his avarice, 
if not an excuse for, at least seemed an alleviation of the 
crime. He was, accordingly, robbed frequently, and, if report 
be true — for this was a subject on which he did not choose to 
enlarge — to a very considerable amount. He, however, once 
confessed, with tears in his eyes, to his niece, who had seen 
whole and half-pecks of halfpence on his staircase, that "all 
— all was gone !" 

On these occasions, it was customary with the house-breakers 
to terrify him into a discovery of his more valuable property ; 
and they are said to have actually suspended him by the neck 
several times before they could extort a confession where it 
was deposited. 

At length, Daniel bethought himself of a mode of preventing 
their visits, and punishing their temerity. After fastening his 
rotten door on the inside, in the best manner possible, he de- 
termined never to enter the house again through that aperture. 
Accordingly he procured a short ladder, always ascended by its 
means, and, pulling it in after him, took refuge in his miserable 
apartment, where he literally resembled Robinson Crusoe shut 
up in his little garrison. 

But, not deeming this sufficient, he actually dug a hole, or, 
what military men term a trou de loup, before the entrance, 
which he covered over with loose straw," in such a manner as 
to secure the principal approach towards his castle, and entrap 


any incautious assailant, who might have the temerity to invade 
his darling property. After exhibiting this specimen of his 
talents as an engineer, the modern Midas seems to have slept 
in safety amidst his gold. 

Soon after the robbery, the thieves were apprehended, and 
as Mr. Dancer's presence at their trial became necessary, Lady 
Tempest begged his acceptance of a clean shirt, that he might 
make a decent appearance ; but he declined the generous offer, 
assuring her that he had a new one on, which he had bought 
only three weeks before, when it was quite clean. 

This accident probably made some impression, and rendered 
him desirous of placing his money in a more secure situation 
than his own wretched hut. Bepairing not long after to 
London, to invest £2000 in the funds, a gentleman who met 
him near the Exchange, mistaking him for a beggar, put a 
penny into his hand. Though somewhat surprised at first, yet 
recollecting that every little helps, he put the money into his 
pocket, and continued his walk. 

Lady Tempest, who was the only person that had any in- 
fluence on the mind of this unhappy man, employed every 
possible persuasion and device to induce him to partake of 
those conveniences and comforts which are so gratifying to 
others, but without effect. One day she, however, prevailed 
on Mm to purchase a hat of a Jew for a shilling, that which 
he wore having been in constant use for thirteen years. She 
called upon him the next day, and to her surprise found that 
he still continued to wear the old one. On inquiring the 
reason, he, after much solicitation, informed her that his old 
servant Griffiths had given him sixpence profit for his bargain. 

The same lady, knowing that he was fond of trout stewed 
in claret, once sent him some as a present. The stew had be- 
come congealed during the night, and though he durst not eat 
till it was warmed for fear of the toothache, to which he was 
subject, yet he could not on any account afford the expense of 
a fire. The ingenious method by which he contrived to relieve 
himself from this embarrassment, is certainly worthy of ad- 
miration. The weather was frosty, and at such times he 


always lay in bed to keep himself warm, and he conceived that 
a similar mode of proceeding would produce the same effect 
on the fish. He accordingly directed it to be put, with the 
sauce, into a pewter plate, and covering it with another, placed 
them under his body, and sat upon them till the contents were 
sufficiently warmed ! 

The latter part of Daniel's life was meliorated by the hu- 
manity and good-nature of his worthy and respectable neigh- 
bour. Lady Tempest presented him with a bed, and, at length 
actually prevailed upon him to throw away the sack in which 
he had slept for years. Being a sworn enemy to extravagance, 
he was careful to excess of the property of another. He could 
scarcely be prevailed upon, it is said, to touch a joint. He 
delighted in fragments and crusts ; and, while indulging him- 
self in these luxuries, muttered execrations against the devour- 
ing gluttony of modern times. He also evinced, on this 
occasion, a considerable portion of that low cunning so common 
in illiterate persons, for he pretended to pay his addresses to 
the cook, in an honourable way, with a view of keeping in favour 
with her ; and, when it was evident that she had discovered 
his intentions to proceed from what is termed cupboard love, he 
endeavoured to impose on her a second time, by promising to 
remember her in his will ! 

To his brother, who kept sheep on the same common, and 
who rivalled Daniel himself in penury, and almost in wealth, 
he always manifested the utmost aversion ; to his niece, how- 
ever, he once presented a guinea on the birth of a daughter ; 
but even here he made a hard bargain, for the gift was condi- 
tional — she was either to name the child Nancy, after his 
mother, or forfeit the whole sum. 

To the honour of Mr. Dancer, however, he possessed one 
virtue, and that, too, not a very common one in this world — 
gratitude. Accordingly, some time before his death, he made 
a will, and surrendered his copyhold estates to the disposition 
he had made ; the will and surrender were both in favour of 
his benefactress, Lady Tempest. 

The evening before his death, he dispatched a messenger in 


whom he could confide, requesting to see her ladyship ; and, 
on being gratified in this particular, he expressed great satis- 
faction. Finding himself a little better, his attachment to the 
only thing he respected more than that lady recurred, and 
that too with such violence, that, although his hand was 
scarcely able to perform its functions, he took hold of his will, 
which he had intended to have presented to her, and replaced 
it once more in his bosom. 

Next morning, however, perceiving his end to be fast ap- 
proaching, he actually confided this paper, according to his 
original determination ; and having now resigned, as it were, 
all title to that adored wealth, which he considered as his 
" heart's blood," he soon gave up the ghost, and was buried in 
the church-yard of his parish (Harrow), by his own particular 

Thus lived, and thus died, at the age of seventy-eight, on 
September 4, 1794, Daniel Dancer, a true disciple of the Elwes 
school, the rigours of which he practised to a far greater degree 
than even his master. In consequence of a very common mis- 
take of the means for the end, he deprived himself not only of 
what are termed the pleasures, but even the necessaries of life. 
At times, however, he would lament that he did not make a 
better use of his riches, and was once heard to regret that he 
had not, according to his original intention, set up a whiskey, 
which, in his opinion, was the ne plus ultra of gentility. On 
another occasion, upon receiving two-pence for a pint of beer 
from a deputy commissary, who was about to pay him five 
hundred pounds for hay during the war, and had mistaken him 
for one of 'Squire Dancer's servants, he bridled up, and said 
that he intended soon to become a gentleman himself ! 

Had it not been for the perpetual exercise of his master- 
passion, Daniel Dancer might have been a credit to his family, 
and an ornament to society. He possessed the seeds of many 
admirable qualities, and exhibited frequent marks of strong, 
nervous, good sense ; unpolished, indeed, by commerce with 
the world, but at the same time unsophisticated by its vices or 
its follies. 



Both he and his father, during a series of more than sixty 
years, had allowed themselves two jubilee days in the year : 
these were their festivals, and they enjoyed them, for there 
was good cheer to be had without expense. The periods alluded 
to occurred in April and October, at Sir John Rushout's, court- 
baron for the manor of Harrow. As head tenants, they con- 
stantly attended, and it was observed by all the suitors, that 
if the Dancers starved at home, they ate most voraciously; 
abroad. On these occasions Daniel distinguished himself by 
his droll sayings, and whenever any attempt was made to ridi- 
cule, burlesque, or pass a joke upon him (which was invariably 
the case), the wit and eccentricity of his replies soon put his 
antagonist to silence. 

No man had more of the true Englishman about him, at least 
so far as concerned the defence of his rights and privileges, 
than Mr. Dancer. He was a second Hampden in this respect, 
for during the whole of his life he would never permit any in- 
fringements on Harrow Weald Common. Whenever an en- 
croachment took place, without any respect to rank or fortune, 
Daniel instantly headed the villagers, and abated the nuisance, 
This made him extremely popular. 

Miserable and wretched as his disposition was, he was not 
accused of having ever committed any act of injustice ; on the 
contrary, he was sometimes known to have assisted those whose 
style of living and appearance were infinitely superior to his 

He had no farming business but during the time of mowing 
his meadows. That of his hay-harvest, then, seems to have 
been the only period of the year in which his mind was occu- 
pied by business ; and this, too, was the sole time in which 
jollity appeared to be familiar to his mansion, for he seemed 
then to have entirely divested himself of his natural character. 
No gentleman in the neighbourhood gave his mowers better 
beer, or in greater quantity, than Daniel did on this occasion. 
It was brought from a neighbouring brewhouse, for at this 
time only was the beverage of our Saxon forefathers to be 
found within his walls. Notwithstanding the miserable aspect 


of the house and its inhabitants, both brother and sister (the 
former especially, who was nearly naked), yet on Daniel's 
death, not only plate, table-linen, and twenty-four pair of good 
sheets, but clothes of every description, were found locked up 
in chests. The female attire, of which there was a correct 
inventory, in the brother's own hand- writing, was valued at 
seventeen pounds. He also, among other apparel, had some ex- 
cellent hots ; but he preferred to case his legs with the still 
wanner covering of hay-bands. 

Although he possessed two ancient but tolerably good bed- 
steads, with the proper furniture, originally belonging, as well 
as the house, to the Edlins, a family of some property, yet 
they were carefully secluded from the light of heaven, and both 
he and his sister slept on sacks stuffed with hay, and covered 
with a horse rug. 

During the last twenty years, Daniel's house is said to have 
been entered at least fourteen times by thieves, and the amount 
of his losses is calculated at £2,500. As the lower part was 
in such a ruinous state as to admit a person with ease, it was 
recommended to him to get it repaired ; but he replied, " that 
this would be only throwing away more money, for then they 
would get in at the windows." 

In order to employ the attention of the marauders until he 
should escape to his hiding-place, he was accustomed to strew 
the ground floor with farthings and six-pences wrapped up in 

On his demise, the house in which he died, and in which he 
was also born, exhibited a spectacle of misery and of terror ; 
for it possessed so squalid an aspect, that no other person would 
have slept in it ; and was actually so ruinous, that neither 
bricklayer nor carpenter would have ventured to repair it. 

Having been once reluctantly bound over by a magistrate to 
prosecute a horse-stealer at Aylesbury assizes, he set out with 
a respectable neighbour, who undertook to accompany him. 
Himself and his horse, on this occasion, exhibited a grotesque' 
appearance, for the movements of the latter were regulated by 
a halter instead of a bridle, while a sack fastened round him 



served instead of a saddle : as for shoes, this was a luxury that 
Daniel's Eosinante had never been accustomed to. 

On their arrival at Aylesbury, having stopped at an inn of 
decent appearance, Dancer addressed his companion in the 
following manner : — " Pray, sir, do you go into the house, 
order what you please, and live like a gentleman, I will settle 
for it readily ; but as for myself, I must go on in my old way." 
He accordingly did so, for he bought a pennyworth of bread 
for himself, slept under his horse's manger, and paid fifteen 
shillings, being the amount of his companion's bill, with the 
utmost cheerfulness. 

His house, which at his death devolved to Captain Holmes, < 
was a most miserable building, not having been repaired for 
half a century : though poor in external appearance, it was, 
however, discovered to be very rich within ; at different times, 
Captain Holmes found large bowls filled with guineas and half- 
guineas, and parcels of bank-notes stuffed under the covers of 
old chairs. Large jugs of dollars and shillings were found in 
the stable. At the dead of night Mr. Dancer was known to go 
to this place, but for what purpose no one could tell. It after- 
wards appeared that he used to rob one jug, to add to a bowl 
which was buried in the kitchen. 

It took many weeks to explore the contents of his dwelling. 
One of his richest escritoirs was the dungheap in the cow-house, 
which contained near £2,500, and in an old jacket carefully 
tied, and strongly nailed down to the manger, was the sum of 
£500 in gold and bank-notes. In the chimney was about £200, 
and an old teapot contained bank-notes to the value of £600; 
it was covered with a piece of paper, whimsically inscribed, 
"Not to be hastily looked over." 

Tliere was likewise found some hundred weight of waste 
paper, the collection of half a century, and two or three tons of 
old iron, consisting of nails, horse-shoes, &c, which he had 
picked up. On the ground floor several pieces of foreign gold 
and silver were dug up, and some coins, among which were a 
crown and a shilling of the English commonwealth. 

He left in landed property to the amount of £500 per annum 

illigravecl "by B. Coop eT 




/J J//7.s??S,MA-' 


to Lady Tempest, and after her death to her only son, Sir 
Henry Tempest, of Stoke-end, Hereford : in short, the whole 
property which he left to Lady Tempest and her brother 
Captain Holmes was about £3000 per annum. Lady Tempest 
did not long enjoy the accession of wealth which she acquired 
by this miser's death ; for she contracted an illness during her 
attendance upon Mr. Dancer in his last hours, that in a few 
months terminated her own life, in January, 1795. 

Notwithstanding his great penury, Mr, Dancer possessed 
some praiseworthy qualities. He observed the most rigid 
integrity in every transaction, and was never averse to assist 
those of whom he entertained a good opinion, and whose em- 
barrassments required a temporary aid ; but, at the same time, 
it must be confessed, he did not lend his money without ex- 
pecting the usual interest. His servant, Griffiths, always fared 
much better than his master, having been indulged with what- 
ever he chose to eat and drink, besides a good and comfortable 
bed to sleep on. The latter Mr. Dancer deemed an unneces- 
sary luxury, yet his allowing his servant that which he denied 
himself, renders his character still more wonderful and un- 

Dancer left two brothers, Henry and Hammon, both pos- 
sessed of property, and both genuine misers, 

Chevalier Desseasau, 

The Vain Dwarf. 

A MONG- the eccentric characters who, in the early part of 
**■ the reign of George III. attracted public notice in the 
British metropolis was the Chevalier Desseasau. He was a 
native of Prussia, of French extraction, and early in life bore a 
commission in the Prussian service. This he found himself 
under the necessity of quitting abruptly, through a disagree- 
ment between him and a brother officer, which was carried to 
such a height that a duel ensued, in which his antagonist was 


dangerously wounded. Uncertain of the event, and dreading 
the consequences should the wound prove fatal, he insured his 
safety by flight. 

The chevalier sought a refuge in England, and contracted so 
great a partiality for this country, that he resolved to pass in 
it the remainder of his days. The singularity of his dress and 
character soon drew the attention of the curious. He was well 
acquainted with Foote, Murphy, Goldsmith, Johnson, and most 
of their contemporaries, eminent for genius and talent in the 
walks of literature and the drama : nor was there a bookseller 
of any note who did not know the Chevalier Desseasau. His 
chief places of resort were Old Anderton's coffee-house in Fleet 
Street, the Barn in St. Martin's Lane, and various coffee-houses 
in the vicinity of Covent-garden. His originality and good- 
nature caused his company to be much courted. 

He either had, or fancied that he possessed a talent for poetry, 
and used to recite his compositions among his friends. On 
these occasions his vanity often got the better of his good sense, 
and led him to make himself the hero of his story. As an 
instance of this he frequently repeated the following lines with 
an emphasis which indicated the most self-complacent satisfac- 

II n'y a au monde que deui heros, 

Le roi de Prusse, et Chevalier Desseasau. 

He never submitted any of his performances to public view, 
but confined them to the circle of his friends. He would often 
rehearse them himself before select company, and during the 
last years of his life, he derived his principal means of sub- 
sistence from the presents made him in return. 

At this period he was reduced by misfortunes, and perhaps 
also by the infirmities of age, to a residence within the rules of 
the Fleet prison ; but such was the confidence placed in his 
honour, that he was suffered to go wherever he pleased. He 
appeared in the streets in the singular dress and accoutrements 
delineated in our illustration. His clothes were black, and then- 
fashion had all the stiff formality of those of an ancient buck. 


In his hand he generally carried a gold-headed cane, a roll of 
his poetry, and a sword, or sometimes two. The reason for 
this singularity was, according to his own expression, that he 
might afford an opportunity to his antagonist, whom he 
wounded in the duel, to revenge his cause, should he again 
chance to meet with him. This trait would induce a belief 
that his misfortunes had occasioned a partial derangement of 
the chevalier's intellect. 

Desseasau died at his lodgings in Fleet-market, aged upwards 
of 70, in February 1775, and was interred in St. Bride's 
Church-yard. The Gentleman's Magazine of that month con- 
tained the following notice concerning him : — " Died the Che- 
valier Desseasau, commonly called the French Poet ; he has 
left a great personage a curious sword, a gold medal, and a 
curious picture." Whether these articles were ever disposed of 
conformably to his bequest is not known. 

Matthew Lovat. 

Who Crucified Himself. 

WE shall in this chapter present our readers with some 
account of the crucifixion, which Matthew Lovat ex- 
ecuted upon his own person, on the morning of the 19th July, 
1805. He was forty-six years of age when he committed this 
act of pious suicide. His father's name was Mark, and he him- 
self was surnamed Casale, from the place of his birth, which 
was a hamlet belonging to the parish of Soldo, in the territory 
of Belluno. 

Before entering upon the details of this strange act of 
insanity, we must mention some circumstances connected with 
the earlier part of his life, in order to give a clear view of his 
condition and character, both physical and moral. Born of 
poor parents, employed in the coarsest and most laborious 
works of husbandry, and fixed to a place which removed him 
from almost all society, it is easy to judge what was the nature 
of his education and habits. In these circumstances, it hap- 


pened that his imagination was so forcibly smitten with the 
view of the easy and comfortable lives of the rector and his 
curate, who were the only persons in the whole parish exempted 
from the labours of the field, and who engrossed all the power 
and consequence, which the little world in which Matthew lived 
had presented to his eyes, that he was carried, by the principle 
of imitation, as some philosophers would express it, to make an 
effort to prepare himself for the priesthood. With this design 
he placed himself under the tuition of the curate, who taught 
him to read and to write a little ; but the poverty of his family 
rendering it quite impossible for him to follow his plan, he was 
obliged to renounce study for ever, and to betake himself to 
the trade of a shoemaker. 

Having become shoemaker by necessity, he never succeeded 
either as a neat or as a quick workman ; the ordinary fate of 
those who are employed contrary to their inclinations. The . 
sedentary life, and the silence to which apprentices are con- 
demned in the shops of their masters, formed in him the habit 
of meditation, and rendered him gloomy and taciturn. As his 
age increased, he became subject in the spring to giddiness in 
his head, and eruptions of a leprous appearance showed them- 
selves on his face and hands. Dr. Ruggieri entertained the 
suspicions that these evils were occasioned by leprosy, and 
observed in fact, while Matthew was under his care, that his 
hands and feet were spotted with scales, which came off by 
friction in white mealy particles. 

Until the month of July, 1802, Matthew Lovat did nothing 
extraordinary. His life was regular and uniform ; his habits 
were simple, and conformable to his rank in society ; nothing, 
in short, distinguished him but an extreme degree of devotion. 
He spoke on no other subjects than the affairs of the church. 
Its festivals and fasts, with sermons, saints, &c., constituted the 
topics of his conversation. It was at this date, however, that, 
having shut himself up in his chamber, and making use of one 
of the tools belonging to his trade, he performed upon himself 
the most complete general amputation, and threw the parts of 
which he had deprived his person from his window into the 


street. It has never been precisely ascertained, what were the 
motives which induced him to this unnatural act. Some have 
supposed that he was impelled to it by the chagrin, with which 
he was seized, upon finding his love rejected by a girl of whom 
he had become enamoured ; but is it not more reasonable to 
think, considering the known character of the man, that his 
timid conscience, taking the alarm at some little stirrings of the 
flesh against the spirit, had carried him to the resolution of 
freeing himself at once and for ever of so formidable an enemy ? 
However this may be, Lovat, in meditating the execution of 
this barbarous operation, had also thought of the means of cure. 
He had mashed and prepared certain herbs, which the inhabit- 
ants of his village deemed efficacious in stemming the flow of 
blood from wounds, and provided himself with rags of old 
linen to make the application of his balsam, and what is sur- 
prising, these feeble means were attended with such success, 
that the cure was completed in a very short time, the patient 
neither experiencing any involuntary loss of urine, or any 
difficulty in voiding it. 

It was not possible that a deed of this nature could remain 
concealed. The whole village resounded with the fame of 
Matthew's exploit, and everybody expressed astonishment at 
his speedy cure without the aid of a professional person. But he 
himself had not anticipated the species of celebrity which the 
knowledge of his expert operation was to procure for him ; and 
not being able to withstand the bitter jokes which all the in- 
habitants of the village, and particularly the young people, 
heaped upon him, he kept himself shut up in his house, from 
which he did not venture to stir for some time, not even to go 
to mass. At length, on the 13th of November in the same 
year, he came to the resolution of going to Venice, to dwell 
with a younger brother, named Angelo, who was employed by 
the house of Palatini, gold refiners, in Biri, in the Street called 
Le Cordoni. He, having no accommodation for him, conducted 
Matthew to the house of a widow, the relict of Andrew 
Osgualda, who supplied him with a bed. She also lived in 
Biri, in the street called Le Vido, No, 5775. He lodged with 


this woman until the 21st of September in the following year, 
working assiduously at his trade, in the employment of a person 
near the hospital, and without exhibiting any signs of madness. 
But on the above-mentioned day having made an attempt to 
crucify himself, in the middle of the street called the Cross of 
Bin, upon a frame which he had constructed of the timber of 
his bed, the widow Osgualdi dismissed him, lest he should 
perform any similar act of insanity in her apartments. On this 
occasion he was prevented from accomplishing his purpose by 
several people who came upon him just as he was driving the 
nail into his left foot. Being interrogated repeatedly as to the 
motive which ha<$ induced him to attempt self-crucifixion, he 
maintained an obstinate silence ; or once only said to his 
brother, that that day was the festival of St. Matthew, and 
that he could give no farther explanation. Some days after' 
this affair, he set out for his own country, where he remained 
a certain time : he afterwards returned to Venice, and settled 
himself with Martin Murzani, a shoemaker, who lived near the 
street of the Holy Apostles. In the month of May, 1805, he 
changed his shop and entered into that of Lorenzo della Mora, 
in the street Senze Saint Marcilian ; and to be nearer the place 
of his employment, he hired, in the beginning of the following 
July, a room in the third floor of a house occupied by Valentia 
Luccheta, situated near the church of S. Alvise, in the street 
Delle Monache, No. 2888 ; and up to this date he was perfectly 

But scarcely was he established in this new abode, when his 
old ideas of crucifixion laid hold of him again. He wrought a 
little every day in forming the instrument of his torture, and 
provided himself with the necessary articles of nails, ropes, 
bands, the crown of thorns, &c. As he foresaw that it would 
be extremely difficult to fasten himself securely upon the cross, 
he made a net of small cords capable of supporting his weight, 
in case he should happen to disengage himself from it. This 
net he secured at the bottom by fastening it in a knot at the 
lower extremity of the perpendicular beam, a little below the 
bracket designed to support his feet, and the other end was 


stretched to the extremities of the transverse spar, which 
formed the arms of the cross, so that it had the appearance in 
front of a purse turned upside down. From the middle of the 
upper extremity of the net, thus placed, proceeded one rope, 
and from the point at which the two spars forming the cross 
intersected each other, a second rope proceeded, both of which 
were firmly tied to a beam in the inside of the chamber, imme- 
diately above the window, of which the parapet was very low, 
and the length of these ropes was just sufficient to allow the 
cross to rest horizontally upon the floor of the apartment. 

These cruel preparations being ended, Matthew proceeded to 
crown himself with thorns ; of which two or three pierced the 
skin which covers the forehead. Next, with a white handker- 
chief bound round his loins and thighs, he covered the place 
formerly occupied by the parts of which he had deprived him- 
self, leaving the rest of his body bare. Then, passing his legs 
between the net and the cross, seating himself upon it, he took 
one of the nails destined for his hands, of which the point was 
smooth and sharp, and introducing it into the palm of the left, 
he drove it, by striking its head on the floor, until the half of 
it had appeared through ' the back of the hand. He now 
adjusted his feet to the bracket which had been prepared to 
receive them, the right over the left ; and taking a nail five 
French inches and a half long, of which the point was also 
polished and sharp, and placing it on the upper foot with his 
left hand, he drove it with a mallet which he held in his 
right, until it not only penetrated both his feet, but entering 
the hole prepared for it in the bracket, made its way so far 
through the tree of the cross as to fasten the victim firmly to 
it. He planted the third nail in his right hand as he had 
managed with regard to the left, and having bound himself by 
the middle to the perpendicular of the cross by a cord, which 
he had previously stretched under him, he set about inflicting 
the wound in the side with a cobbler's knife, which he had placed 
by him for this operation. It did not occur to him, however, 
at the moment that the wound ought to be in the right side 
and not in the left, and in the cavity of the breast and not of 


the hypocondre, where he inflicted it. He struck himself 
transversely two inches below the left hypocondre, towards the 
internal angle of the abdominal cavity, without, however, in- 
juring the parts which this cavity contains. Whether fear 
checked his hand, or whether he intended to plunge the in- 
strument to a great depth by avoiding the hard and resisting 
parts, it is not easy to determine ; but there were observed in 
the neighbourhood of the wound several scratches across his 
body, which scarcely divided the skin. It seems probable that 
he had scratched his side in this manner when probing for a 
place that would present no obstacles to his knife, which, 
according to Matthew Lovat, represented the spear of th 

These bloody operations being concluded, it was now neces- 
sary, in order to complete the execution of the whole plan which 
he had conceived, that Matthew should exhibit himself upon 
the cross to the eyes of the public, and he realised this part of 
it in the following way. The cross was laid horizontally on 
the floor, its lower extremity resting upon the parapet of the 
window, which, as has been already said, was very low ; so, 
raising himself up by pressing upon the points of his fingers 
(for the nails did not allow him to use his whole hand either 
open or closed), he made several springs forward, until the 
portion of the cross which was protruded over the parapet, 
overbalancing what was within the chamber, the whole frame, 
with the poor fanatic upon it, darted out at the window, and 
remained suspended outside of the house by the ropes which 
were secured to the beam in the inside. In this predicament, 
Lovat stretched his hands to the extremities of the transverse 
beam which formed the arms of the cross, to insert the nails 
into the holes which had been prepared for them : but whether 
it was out of his power to fix both, or whether he was obliged 
to use the right in some concluding operation, the fact is, that 
when he was seen by the people who passed in the street, he 
was suspended under the window, with only his left hand nailed 
to the cross, while his right hung parallel to his body, on the 
outside of the net. It was then eight o'clock in the morning. 


As soon as he was perceived, some humane people ran upstairs, 
disengaged him from the cross, and put him to bed. A sur- 
geon of the neighbourhood was called, who made them plunge 
his feet into water, introduced tow by way of caldis into the 
wound of the hypocondre, which he assured them did not pene- 
trate into the cavity, and after having prescribed some cordial, 
instantly took his departure. 

It happened that Dr. Kuggieri, to whom we owe the above 
account, was called to the spot by some business connected 
with his profession. Having heard what had taken place, he 
instantly repaired to the lodgings of Lovat, to witness with his 
own eyes a fact which appeared to exceed all belief ; and when 
he arrived there in company with the surgeon Paganoni, he 
actually beheld him wounded in the manner described. His 
feet, from which there had issued but a small quantity of 
blood, were still in the water : his eyes were shut : he had 
made no reply to the questions which were addressed to him : 
his pulse was convulsive ; respiration had become difficult : his 
situation, in short, demanded the most prompt relief and assist- 
ance that could be administered. Accordingly, with the per- 
mission of the Director of Police of the Eoyal Canal, who had 
come to take cognizance of what had happened, Dr. Ruggieri 
caused the patient to be conveyed by water to the Imperial 
Clinical School, established at the Hospital of St. Luke and 
St. John, and entrusted to his care. During the passage the 
only thing he said was to his brother Angelo, who accompanied 
him in the boat, and was lamenting his extravagance, which 
was, " Alas ! I am very unfortunate." "When they arrived at 
the hospital, Dr. Ruggieri proceeded to a fresh examination of 
his wounds, which confirmed his previous impressions. It was 
perfectly ascertained that the nails had entered by the palm of 
the hands, and gone out at the back, and that the nail which 
wounded the feet had entered first the right foot and then the 

He lay at the hospital for about a month, subjected to the 
most careful medical treatment, under which his wounds began 


gradually to heal. During the greater part of this time he 
hardly ever spoke. Always sombre and shut up in Himself, his 
eyes were almost constantly closed. "I interrogated him 
several times," says Dr. Euggieri, "relative to the motive 
which had induced him to crucify himself, and he always made 
me this answer, ' The pride of man must be mortified, it mist ex- 
pire on the cross.' Thinking that he might be restrained by the 
presence of my pupils, I returned repeatedly to the subject 
when with him alone, and he always answered me in the same 
terms. He was, in fact, so deeply persuaded that the Supreme 
Will had imposed upon him the obligation of dying upon the 
cross that he wished to inform the Tribunal of Justice of the 
destiny which it behoved him to fulfil." 

Scarcely was he able to support in his hand the weight of a 
book, when he took the prayer-book, and read it all day long. 
On the first days of August, all his wounds were completely- 
cured ; and as he felt no pain or difficulty in moving his hands 
or feet, he expressed a wish to go out of the hospital, that he 
might not, as he said, eat the bread of idleness. This request 
being denied to him, he passed a whole day without taking 
any food ; and finding that his clothes were kept from him, he 
set out one afternoon in his shirt, but was soon brought back 
by the servants. The Board of Police being informed of the 
cure of this unhappy man, very wisely gave orders that he 
should be conveyed to the Lunatic Asylum, established at St. 
Servolo. Thither he was brought on the 20th August, 1805. 

He was tranquil and obedient the first eight days ; but after 
this time he became taciturn, and refused every species of meat 
and drink. Force and persuasion were employed in vain, and 
it was impossible to make him swallow even a drop of water 
during six successive days. In this interval recourse was had 
to nutritive baths, for which he did not express any aversion 
Towards the morning of the seventh day, being importuned by 
another madman, he consented to take a little nourishment; 
He continued to eat about fifteen days, and then resumed his 
fast, which he prolonged during eleven. The nutritive wash- 


ings were again employed, but they could be used only once a 
day. In the course of these eleven days he had no evacuation 
of the belly, and voided only once about two pounds of urine. 
Notwithstanding this disorder of the whole animal economy, 
his constitution did not appear shaken, and his strength and 
outward appearance remained the same. 

These severe fasts were repeated several times, and always 
with equal success, and were of longer or shorter duration, the 
most protracted, however, not exceeding twelve days. 

In January, 1806, there appeared in him symptoms of con- 
sumption — a low pulse, diminution of strength, dry tongue, 
&c. j they were removed, however, by means of cordials, in 
the space of five days. Towards the middle of February his 
countenance became swollen with a tumour, he very seldom 
voided urine, and he had an occasional cough with purulent 
spittings. The remedies which his case required were resorted 
to ; his health appeared to be re-established, and during the 
whole course of the month he exhibited no symptoms of breast 
complaints. There was observed in him a very singular trait 
of insanity. He would remain immovable, exposed to the 
whole heat of the sun until the skin of his face began to peel 
off, and it was necessary to employ force to drag him into the 

On the 2nd April he felt very unwell ; the skin returned to 
his face and the lower extremities ; he was attacked with a 
frequent cough, which, however, disappeared on the 6th. At 
this date an obvious labouring in his breast was observed, the 
pulse was very low : at length, on the morning of the 8th he 
expired after a short struggle. 

r 6 * 

Baron D'Aguilar, 

Of Starvation Farm. 

"DARON D'AGUILAR may justly be classed among the 
-*-* most singular characters of the age in which he lived. 
"The elements were so mixed up in him" as to form a truly ex- 
traordinary combination of vice and virtue : of misanthropy 
and benevolence ; of meanness and integrity ; of avarice and 
liberality ; of pride and humility ; of cruelty and kindness. I 
Courted during the early part of his life in the walks of elegance 
and fashion, he rendered himself despised towards the conclusion '; 
of it by his meanness and degeneracy. t 

Ephraim Lopes Pereira dAguilar, descended of Jewish ;J 
parents, was born about the year 1740, at Vienna. His father 
'was a native of Portugal, but in 1722, quitted the country on 
account of his religion, and came to England. 

In 1736 he went to Vienna, where he submitted to that 
imperial court proposals for farming the duties on tobacco and 
snuff. In this undertaking he was so successful, that he after- 
wards became not only a confidant of the Empress Maria 
Theresa, but was appointed her cashier. About the year 1756 
he returned to England with a family of twelve children, and 
in 1759 died, very rich, leaving his title to his eldest son, the 
subject of these pages. 

In 1758 the baron was naturalized, and married the daughter 
of Moses Mendes da Costa, Esq., whose fortune was stated, hy 
report, at one hundred and fifty thousand pounds, which was 
settled on her previous to marriage. By this lady the baron 
had two daughters, both of whom were living at his death, and 
inherited his large property. 

Having been left a widower in 1763, the baron, a few years 
afterwards, married the widow of Benjamin Mendes da Costa, 
Esq., who likewise brought him a considerable fortune. During 
his first, and for some time after his second marriage, the baron 
lived in the highest style of fashion, in Broad Street Buildings, 




* 1^-iSw 





being extensively engaged in mercantile pursuits, and keeping 
several' carriages, and upwards of twenty servants. But on the 
commencement of the American war, having lost an estate of 
fifteen thousand acres on that continent, this and other losses, 
together with domestic disagreements, induced him to alter his 
plan of living. On the expiration of his lease he removed from 
Broad Street Buildings, renounced the character of a gentle- 
man, became rude, slovenly, careless of his person and conduct, 
totally withdrawing himself from his family connexions and the 
society of the gay world. 

This alteration in the manners and temper of the baron, led 
to a separation from his wife, who fortunately possessed an in- 
dependent income. Though he had quitted his elegant man- 
sion, he had still abundant choice of a residence. He had a 
field and two houses at Bethnal Green, which he kept shut up, 
being filled with rich furniture, laid by after his seclusion from 
the world and from his family. A large house at Twickenham, 
formerly his country retreat, was also kept shut up, and in the 
same predicament was another of his country seats at Syden- 
ham. In addition to these, he purchased a town house in 
Shaftesbury Place, Aldersgate Street, where he generally slept, 
and the lease of another in Camden Street, Islington, together 
with some ground close to the New Eiver, which he converted 
into a farm yard. 

Having relinquished the pursuits of a gentleman, the baron 
took it into his head to adopt those of the farmer ; but his 
farming speculations he carried on in a manner peculiar to him- 
self. His farm yard at Islington was a real curiosity of the 
kind. From the state in which the cattle were kept, it re- 
ceived the characteristic appellation of the " Starvation Farm 
Yard." These wretched animals, exhibiting the appearance of 
mere skin and bone, might be seen amidst heaps of dung and 
filth, some just ready to expire, and some not yet reduced so 
low preying upon others. His hogs would often make free 
with his ducks and poultry ; for though brought up a Jew, the 
baron had always plenty of pork and bacon for his own con- 
sumption. The miserable situation of these animals, doomed 



to this state of living death, frequently excited the indignation 
of passengers, who would often assemble in crowds to hoot and 
pelt the baron, who generally appeared in a very mean and 
dirty dress. He never replied or took any notice of these un- 
pleasant salutations, but availed himself of the first opportunity 
to make good his retreat. It is unknown for what purpose he 
kept the cattle, unless it were for amusement, as he derived 
from them little or no emolument. The only reason he ever 
assigned for stinting them to such a scanty allowance of food 
was, that they might know their master ; for it should be ob- 
served, that he was very fond of homage. 

After his removal to Islington, he would either feed the hogs, 
cows, and fowls himself, or stand by while they were fed, con- 
ceiving that nothing could be properly done unless he were 
present. His cows he used sometimes to send from the Starva- 
tion Yard, to his field at Bethnal Green, to grass, sending a 
servant that distance to milk them. Here his cattle in the 
winter time were absolutely perishing, and rather than sell any 
he would suffer them to die, one after another, of want. In 
all cases of this kind, the man whom he employed to look after 
them was ordered to bury, the carcase. Once, however, he 
ventured to transgress this injunction, and sold the flesh of a 
starved calf to a dealer in dog's meat. This circumstance 
coming to the knowledge of the baron, he sent to the fellow 
and charged him with selling his property. He confessed that 
he had sold the calf for one shilling and tenpence, which the 
baron deducted from his wages, and then discharged him from 
his service. Notwithstanding this apparent meanness, he never 
would claim his large property in America, nor would he suffer 
any other person to interfere in the business. He was not 
destitute of charity, for his contributions to the poor were 
manifold and secret. He was also a liberal patron of public 
institutions, and though his cattle attested that he did not 
always feed the hungry, yet he was seldom backward at cloth- 
ing the naked, frequently inviting home ragged and distressed 
females, for whom he provided comfortable garments. He had 
been known to take into his houses fatherless children, whom 


he occasionally made his servants, increasing their wages with 
their years. So far his conduct might have excited the emula- 
tion of the Christian, but what followed disgraced the character 
of man : too often treachery was concealed beneath the mask 
of benevolence, and the hapless orphan found a deceiver in her 
supposed benefactor. 

After a separation of twenty years, the baron called one day 
to see his wife. A partial reconciliation was effected ; and 
after repeated visits, he took up his abode entirely at her house. 
No sooner had he established himself there, than he began, in 
the most arbitrary manner, to enforce his authority over the 
servants, and at length to treat the lady herself with a rigour 
she could not endure. She found an opportunity of quitting 
him and repairing to her relations at Hackney, and by their 
advice, instituted legal proceedings against her husband. The 
baron was present in the Court of King's Bench, and calmly 
listened to the whole of the trial, to the great astonishment of 
the court, who not only decided unanimously in favour of the 
lady, but declared that he must be hardened in the extreme to 
show his face upon the occasion. But he contrived to render 
himself still more conspicuous ; for at the conclusion, he boldly 
advanced to petition the court that the costs might be equally 
divided between him and his wife. " Pray, gentlemen," said 
he, " make her pay half the expenses, for I am a very poor 
man, and it would be cruelty to distress me." 

The poor baron survived his wife six or seven years, and died 
in March, 1802, leaving property estimated at upwards of 
£200,000. His illness, an inflammation of the bowels, lasted 
seventeen days. Notwithstanding the severity of the weather, 
and his dangerous situation, he would allow no fire to be made 
in his house. His youngest daughter sent several times in his 
last moments requesting permission to see him ; but with dread- 
ful imprecations, to which he was much addicted, he declared 
she should never enter his presence. 

The baron's large stock of goods was sold by auction after 
his death. His lean cattle fetched £128, his diamonds were 
valued at £30,000, and his plate amounted to seven cwt. 



Among his effects were found forty-two bags of cochineal, and 
twelve of indigo, worth together, about £10,000. These arti- 
cles he had purchased many years before at a high price upon 
speculation, and had hoarded, resolving never to part with 
them till he could have a desirable profit. 

Old Boots, 

Of Ripon in Yorkshire. 

'"THE real name of this very conspicuous personage it is im- 
■*■ possible to ascertain : in his life-time he was known only 
by the significant appellation of Old Boots. He was, how- 
ever, born about the year 1692, and, for some length of time, 
filled the important office of boot-cleaner at an inn at Eipon in 
Yorkshire. He was a perfect " lusus naturce ;" dame Nature 
forming him in one of her freakish humours. He was blessed 
with such a plenitude of nose and chin, and so tenderly en- 
dearing were they, that they used to embrace each other ; and 
by habit, he could hold a piece of money between them. 
Among the variety of human countenances, none perhaps ever 
excited more public curiosity, than that of Old Boots. He 
invariably went into the rooms with a boot-jack and a pair of 
slippers ; and the urbanity of his manners was always pleasing 
to the company, who frequently gave him money, on condition 
that he would hold it between his nose and chin ; which re- 
quest he always complied with, and bore off the treasure with 
great satisfaction. He was one of those fortunate beings who 
could daily accomplish that which thousands of persons are 
ineffectually striving all their lives to attain — he could " make 
both ends meet !" He died in 1762, at the age of seventy. 

-"V'' wl ■■ '*!./,. *»*:* 


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Engraved, "by JS. . Cocrpex. 


6 9 

"Wybrand Lolkes, 

The Dutch Dwarf. 

WYBRAND LOLKES was a native of Holland, and born 
at Jelst in West Friesland, in the year 1733, of parents 
in but indifferent circumstances, his father being a fisherman, 
who beside this most extraordinary little creature, had to sup- 
port a family of seven other children, all of whom were of 
ordinary stature, as were both the father and mother. Wy- 
brand Lolkes at an early age, exhibited proofs of a taste for 
mechanism ; and when of sufficient age, was, by the interest of 
some friends, placed with an eminent watch and clock-maker 
at Amsterdam, to learn that business ; he continued to serve 
this master for four years after the expiration of his appentice- 
ship, and then removed to Eotterdam, where he carried on the 
business of a watch-maker, on his own account, and where he 
first became acquainted, and afterwards married the person who 
accompanied him to England. His trade of watch-maker, how- 
ever, failing, he came to the resolution of exhibiting his person 
publicly as a show ; and by attending the several Dutch fairs 
obtained a handsome competency. Impelled by curiosity, hope 
of gain, he came to England, and was visited at Harwich (where 
he first landed) by crowds of people ; encouraged by this early 
success, he proceeded to London, and -on applying to the late 
Mr. Philip Astley, obtained an engagement at a weekly salary 
of five guineas. He first appeared at the Amphitheatre, West- 
minster Bridge, on Easter Monday, 1790, and continued to ex- 
hibit every evening during the whole season. He always was 
accompanied by his wife, who came on the stage with him hand 
in hand, but though he elevated his arm, she was compelled to 
stoop considerably to meet the proffered honour. At this time 
he was sixty years of age, measured only twenty-seven inches 
in height, and weighed exactly fifty-six'pounds. 

Mynheer Lolkes was a fond husband ; he well knew the 
value of his partner, and repaid her care of him with the most 


fervent affection. He had by his wife three children, one of 
which a son, lived to the age of twenty-three, and was five feet 
seven inches in height. 

This little man, notwithstanding his clumsy and awkward 
appearance, was remarkably agile, and possessed uncommon 
strength, and could with the greatest ease spring from the 
ground into a chair of ordinary height. He was rather of a 
morose temper and extremely vain of himself, and while dis- 
coursing in broken English was extremely dignified, as he ima- 
gined. He continued in England but one season, and through 
the help of a good benefit, returned to his native country, with 
his pockets better furnished than when he left it. 

Jacob Hall, 

77/i? Rope-Dancer. 

*T"*HEKE was a symmetry and elegance, as well as strength 
*■ and agility, in the person of Jacob Hall, which was 
much admired by the ladies, who regarded him as a due com- 
position of Hercules and Adonis. The open-hearted Duchess 
of Cleveland was said to have been in love with this rope-dancer, 
and Goodman, the player, at the same time. The former re- 
ceived a salary from Her Grace. 
Pepys has given a short account of Hall in his diary : — 
" 21st Sept., 1668. — Thence to Jacob Hall's dancing on the 
ropes, where I saw such action as I never saw before, and 
mightily worth seeing ; and here took acquaintance with a 
fellow that carried me to a tavern, whither come the music of 
this booth, and by and by Jacob Hall himself, with whom I 
had a mind to speak, to hear whether he had ever any mischief 
by falls in his time. He told me, ' Yes, many, but never to 
the breaking of a limb :' he seems a mighty strong man."* 

* Diary of Samuel Pepys, vol. v., p. 12. 


l ^Zj -7U? 

."KngTav&cJ/by K Cc-ooeT. 


Henry Constantine Jennings, 

The Remarkable Virtuoso. 

'"THIS gentleman was descended of one of the first families 

-*• in England; by the female line coming direct from 
George Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV. and Eichard 
III. Kings of England. Th'e Countess of Salisbury beheaded 
for treason in the reign of Henry VIII. was the daughter of 
the Duke of Clarence, and besides Cardinal Pole had several 
children ; from one of which Mr. Jennings traced his pedigree. 

He embarked in early life with a considerable fortune, which 
he greatly impaired through a vitiated taste for the fine arts ; 
in which he never was outdone by any competitor. In the way 
of curiosities nothing came amiss to him ; paintings, drawings, 
prints, fossils, minerals, shells, bronzes, carvings in ivory and 
wood, cameos, intaglios, miniatures, &c. of every description, 
graced his antique old-fashioned cabinets. On one occasion he 
had the temerity to give one thousand guineas for a represen- 
tation of Alcibiades' dog, in marble, from which circumstance 
for many years after, he went by the name of " Dog Jennings," 
though it appeared Mr. Jennings was not altogether in the 
wrong, as the dog was afterwards disposed of, at a considerable 
profit on the first purchase : some years since, Mr. Jennings 
acquired an addition to his fortune, by the demise of a friend, 
who left him a considerable income on condition of his adding 
the name of Nowell to his surname ; but though he adopted the 
addition, he never was called by any other than the name of 

His mode of living kept pace with his other singularities : 
he was abstemious to a degree ; and with respect to exercise, 
he was not only a great advocate for it, but practised it to an 
extent scarcely credible, for upwards of half a century. 

He possessed a long and ponderous wooden instrument, 
capped with lead at both ends ; before bed-time, he exercised 
himself with this formidable weapon, until he acquired a com- 


fortable warmth, which enabled him to retire to rest with a 
genial glow. In the morning, he got up between seven and 
eight o'clock ; and, in his own express words, " flourishing his 
broad sword exactly three hundred times ; I then," adds he, 
" mount my chaise horse, composed of leather, and inflated with 
wind like a pair of bellows, on which I take exactly one thou- 
sand gallops 1" He then retired to enjoy, what always appeared 
to every one, a most miserable and uncomfortable breakfast. 

Had this gentleman possessed the' revenue of a prince, it would 
have been inadequate to the eager desire he had to purchase 
the multitude of curiosities that were daily brought him from 
all quarters of the town ; but what with one bargain, and what 
with another, he was fain at last to bargain for a room in the 
state-house of the King's Bench ; where he removed himself, 
with his ark of curiosities, about the year 1816, and yet so 
much was he possessed of the true mania of vertu, that -he 
would rather be deprived of liberty at the age of eighty, than 
part with one of his precious gems to procure his enlargement. 
At the time of his confinement, Mr. Jennings received full 
eight hundred pounds a-year from some plantations he owned 
in the West Indies, which he never could be prevailed on to 
mortgage or otherwise encumber ; and at the time of his death, 
had a case before the House of Lords, wherein he laid claim to 
a barony and considerable estate in right of descent and in- 
heritance from one of his family. 

The fate of Mr. Jennings has been eminently singular, and 
the flux and reflux, the ever-varying ebbs and flows of his for- 
tune appear so strange as to be almost paradoxical. At an 
early period of life we behold him mingling in the crowd of 
wealthy pilgrims, who repaired to Italy about half a century 
ago, to pay their devotions at the shrine of taste and vertii. 
After keeping company with foreign princes and princesses 
he associates with the first nobility in his native country, and 
then by a fatal reverse, spends some years of his life, partly 
within the walls of a provincial, and partly of a town gaol. 
Eecovering as if by magic, from his embarrassments, we next 
behold him emerging above the horizon of distress, and throw- 

f^m^^^ 0. 




ing away a second fortune at Newmarket, where he became the 
dupe of titled and untitled jockeys. 

Sudden and inevitable ruin now seems to overtake him, and 
he is apparently lost for ever ; but lo ! in the course of a very 
short period, he once more revisits the circles of fashion, and 
sits enthroned in a temple, surrounded by the most rare and 
brilliant productions of nature, with pictures, and statues, and 
gems, and shells, and books, and goddesses, perpetually before 
his eyes ! Again the scene changes : the wand of some envious 
necromancer seems to be waved over his venerable head ; and 
the acquisitions of ages, the wreck of his estates, everything 
most precious in his eyes ; his very " household gods,'' are all 
seized by Ihe unholy hands of vile bailifs : and he himself, after 
languishing for two or three years in a prison, at length dies 
unheeded, unattended, and almost unknown, within the pur- 
lieus of the King's Bench, in the year 1818. 

Jennings, even in death, determined to prove singular : 
abhorring the idea of his corpse being consigned to the cold 
earth, he resolved to have recourse to the ancient rite of crema- 
tion. This was a circumstance so generally known, that his 
neighbours supposed he had an oven within his house, for the 
express purpose of reducing his body to ashes. 

Henry Lemoine, 

An Eccentric Bookseller. 

TTENEY LEMOINE was born in Spitalfields in the memor- 
■*■ -*■ able year of the unfortunate overthrow of Lisbon, being 
christened on the fast-day kept in England on that occasion. 
He was educated at a free-school belonging to the French 
Calvinists, whence at fourteen years of age he was apprenticed 
to a stationer and rag-merchant in Lamb Street, Spitalfields. 
His master was of an humble, suppliant disposition, and his 
humility was only equalled by his hypocrisy, by which means 


he made shift to acquire a considerable sum, above £3000 
which an adventurous young emigrant contrived after his death 
to defraud his widow of, and she was unfortunately reduced to 
the workhouse. This stationer, though he dealt in books, had 
such an aversion to learning, that he was constantly ill-tempered 
whenever Lemoine was reading, which often happened in 
spite of his ill humour. Thus his servitude was enlivened by 
the pursuit of letters at stolen hours, and borrowed from the 
time of rest, when, with the assistance of a lamp fitted to a 
dark lanthorn, he contrived to read and digest some necessary 
works of history, poetry, arts and sciences, being considerably 
assisted in his choice of subjects by a Mr. Toddy, an American 
loyalist, whose memory was an enormous chronicle of events 
of former times. It was during this period that he began to 
write for the Magazines, where, finding ready admission for his 
ingenious essays, he perhaps devoted too much of his time to 
those eleemosynary productions. 

From this servitude he removed to a Mr. Chatterton's, a 
baker, and bookseller too, where he was articled to learn the 
former business. Chatterton was well known among the biblio- 
poles of the metropolis for his knowledge in the old puritanical 
divinity of Charles and Cromwell's time, and for a short distich 
over his window, which he had borrowed from one Eoberts, an 
old wine merchant in the Borough, as follows ; only substituting 
bread for wine : 

Two trades united which you seldom find 
Bread to refresh the body, books the mind. 

In this situation, his notoriety at ridicule and satire was 
noticed by the parents and masters of a club of minor Thes- 
pians, who used to assemble occasionally at the " Three Tun 
Tavern," near Spitalfields church, and at the " Three Morrice 
Dancers" in the Old Change. Here he produced a performance 
entitled " The Stinging Nettle ;" what this piece wanted in 
manner, was made up with asperity ; and he often rejoiced 
that not a copy could be found ; however, John Scott, of 
Amwell, a quaker, and author of a volume of poetry, who read 


it, said, " that it was in Churchill's best manner." This was 
followed by another, called the " Eeward of Merit," the princi- 
pal part of which is to be found in the old London Magazine 
for July and August 1780. 

Soon after he was out of his articles with this baking book- 
seller, he hired himself as a foreigner to teach French in 
a boarding-school at Vauxhall, kept by one Mannypenny and 
Co., and succeeded so well in this occupation, that neither 
master nor scholars suspected him capable of speaking a word 
of English ; but the constraint was too much for him long to 
bear, and imparting the secret of his disguise ■ to the maids in 
the kitchen, he received his dismissal, not, however, without 
the character of having ably done the duties of his station. 

An earnest desire after the acquisition of knowledge first led 
our author to the way of selling books ; leisure to read not to 
indulge idleness, made him a bookseller. He began early in 
the year 1777, at the corner of the passage leading to the church 
in the Little Minories, a book-stall, which had been long before 
kept by an aged woman named Burgan. 

While in this situation he became acquainted with the prin- 
cipal literary /«§«, or labourers of the day, most of whom hav- 
ing survived, he bestowed a few last words on them in the way 
of elegy or panegyric* 

In 1780 he began business in Bishopsgate churchyard, at 
this time he kept good company ; the day was spent at his sky- 
covered shop in philosophical conversations, and reciprocal com- 
munication with some of the first characters, and the evenings, 
and even nights, in the orgies of youthful blood ; yet amidst 
all this dissipation, he evinced some prudence in his choice of 

* The principal of these was Robert Sanders, a Scotch comb-maker, 
who wrote or compiled several useful books for John Cooke, a pub- 
lisher in Paternoster-row ; he died in 1783. He travelled through 
every sect of dissenters, and published the vanity of them all in a 
small but abusive work, called the " History of Gaffer Greybeard," 
4 vols. 12mo., " Gregory Goosecap," 2 vols. &c. It was he that 
assisted the famous Lord Lyttelton in punctuating and correcting the 
second edition of his " Life of Henry II.," where, as Dr. Johnson says, 
" something was done, for 19 pages of errata were left after all." 


companions, which, he always selected from situations better 
than his own. Saturday nights were particularly devoted to 
these irregularities, which he jocosely called " borrowing an 
hour with the Lord ;" and some of these frolics sometimes as- 
sumed a very serious aspect. The police of Bishopsgate parish 
was very weak and ineffectual about 1784, and it so happened 
one night in August that year, that some of these nocturnal 
disturbers being captured and conveyed to the watch-house, 
they contrived so to intoxicate this posse of vigilant guardians, 
that none were left awake, and only two or three were to be 
found next morning asleep in the watch-house, which, about 
seven o'clock, was discovered to be on fire. 

His first setting-out in business was marked with a great 
degree of industry, enough to cancel the folly of indolence and 
indulgence which might have preceded it. He hired himself 
to a widow in Kingsland Road who kept two bakers' shops, 
and worked there as half -man five years and a half ; that is, he 
took a share of the night-work, and the Sundays, for his board 
and lodging. 

In 1792 he commenced the " Conjuror's Magazine," a monthly 
publication of which he was projector and editor. This con- 
tained a translation of Lavater's famous work on Physiognomy 
from the French edition, published by the author himself at 
Paris. Of the first numbers of this collection, 10,000 were 
sold each month. During this time he brought out a collection 
of Apparitional histories, prefaced by an ingenious argument, 
endeavouring to convince the world of the reality of " the visits 
from the world of spirits," the title of the book ; but beyond 
that he did little more than write over again Baxter, Moreton, 
Glanville, Webster, Dr. Henry More, and repeat his own stories 
and others from the " Arminian Magazine," one of the most 
emphatical of which is entitled " Death in the Pot." During 
these avocations, which were all studied in the street, and 
mostly written on loose papers at the public house, he projected 
and carried on a considerable medical work on the virtues of 
English plants, for the cure of diseases, in the manner of the 
old and celebrated Culpeper, whose astrological remarks he has 


carefully preserved with those of Blagrave, a supplementary au- 
thor to the original work. The whole was illustrated with 
necessary tables, and about 200 good engravings of the plants. 
The additional articles, not to be found in the original work, 
were supplied from Hill's folio Herbal, Short, and Miller on 
plants. He was also the editor of the " "Wonderful Magazine." 
He complained sometimes, and not without reason, of ill-usage 
from his employers. One Locke, a printer of Fetter Lane, who 
went there by the name of Bentley, and afterwards removed to 
Eed Lion Street, Holborn, failed £129 in his debt, for writing 
only, and the Attorney for the bankruptcy objected to his 
proving the debt at Guildhall, nonvithstanding the commis- 
sioners were in his favour, he therefore lost the whole. 

Though condemned, by the harshness of his fate, to a daily 
dependence on his industry about the streets and at sales, to 
pick up rare and uncommon books, he never so far complied 
with the wickedness of others as to assist in the publication or 
sale of improper books or prints. 

About this time he published the " Kentish Curate," a nar- 
rative romance in four volumes, exhibiting some of the most 
depraved characters in life, but as they are properly hung out 
to view on the gibbet of reproach, their examples can do no 
harm, and, as Dr. Johnson wisely observes, "we sometimes 
succeed by indiscretion, when we fail by better examples," 
while almost all the absurdity of conduct arises from our imita- 
tion of those whom we should not resemble. 

He continued his business in Bishopsgate Churchyard, with- 
out interruption, till the year 1788, when he was constrained 
to purchase his freedom, and kept it seven years longer, in all 
fourteen years. He left it in 1795, when he commenced pedes- 
trian bookseller, after which he Was constantly seen in the 
habit he is depicted in the accompanying plate. In his general 
appearance he very much resembled a Jew, to which his bag 
gave a great deal of similitude. 

To be a foreigner was always with the vulgar a reason of 
reproach in England, and to resemble an Israelite with an old- 
clothes-bag is sure to excite some illiberal reflections from the 


ignorant in our streets. To such, when they mistook him for 
a Eosemary Lane dealer, he had some pleasant reply, con- 
stantly reminding them that Jesus Christ was a Jew also, that 
he lived and died as such, and for that reason the persons of 
that dispersed nation ought to be respected and not reviled. 
On such occasions he was at times treated with respect by 
some, for recalling this serious truth to their mind. 

In 1797, he published a small history of the "Art of Print- 
ing," in which he displayed considerable knowledge and in- 
tegrity on the subject. His industry was next directed to the 
finishing of a " Bibliographical Dictionary," which was after- 
wards published by the learned Dr. Adam Clarke. 

From some family misunderstanding he was long separated 
from his wife ; this circumstance embittered the remainder of 
his days, and he often deplored the loss of his partner's affec- 
tions. From this period his spirits became comparatively 
broken ; and he who had been the gayest of the gay was re- 
duced to distress, and procured a scanty subsistence by collect- 
ing books for the trade, and compiling pamphlets for the pub- 
lishers. Industry was always a leading feature in his charac- 
ter ; and from morning till night did he perambulate the 
streets of London with a bag under his arm, satisfied if he 
gained enough to provide for the day which flew over his head. 

He was one of the very best judges in England of old books, 
a professor of the French and German languages, an able com- 
mentator on the Jewish writings, an amiable and unaffected 
man, an enlightened companion. He ended his chequered 
life in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, April 30th, 1812, aged fifty- 
six years. 

/ // / ,y / / • 

///r //^MtfetSu/ 4/'/4- J .. ■7 / /j/-» ,'/- h/-h-/// /vH 


Matthew Buehinger, 

The Little Man of Nuremburg. 

r>R all the imperfect beings brought into the world, few 
^^ can challenge, for mental and acquired endowments, 
anything like a comparison to vie with this truly extraordinary 
little man. Matthew Buehinger was a native of Nuremburg, in 
Germany, where he was born June 2, 1674, without hands, 
feet, legs, or thighs ; in short, he was little more than the 
trunk of a man, saving two excrescences growing from the 
shoulder-blades, more resembling fins of a fish than arms of a 
man. He was the last of nine children, by one father and mo- 
ther, viz. eight sons and one daughter. After arriving at the 
age of maturity, from the singularity of his case, and the extra- 
ordinary abilities he possessed, he attracted the notice and at- 
tention of all persons, of whatever rank in life, to whom he 
was occasionally introduced. 

It does not appear, by any account extant, that his parents 
exhibited him at any time for the purpose of emolument, but 
that the whole of his time must have been employed in study 
and practice, to attain the wonderful perfection he arrived at in 
drawing, and his performance on various musical instruments ; 
he played the flute, the bagpipe, dulcimer, and trumpet, not in 
fhe manner of general amateurs, but in the style of a finished 
master. He likewise possessed great mechanical powers, and 
conceived the design of constructing machines to play on all 
sorts of musical instruments* 

If Nature played the niggard in one respect with him, she 
amply repaid the deficiency by endowments that those blessed 
with perfect limbs could seldom achieve. He greatly distin- 
guished himself by beautiful writing, drawing coats of arms, 
sketches of portraits, history, landscapes, &c, most of which 
were executed in Indian ink, with a pen, emulating in perfec- 
tion the finest and most finished engraving. He was well 
I in most games of chance, nor could the most experi- 


enced gamester or juggler obtain the least advantage at any 
tricks, or game, with cards or dice. 

He used to perform before company, to whom he was exhi- 
bited, various tricks with cups and balls, corn, and living birds; 
and could play at skittles and nine-pins with great dexterity ; 
shave himself with perfect ease, and do many other things 
equally surprising in a person so deficient, and mutilated by 
Nature. His writings and sketches of figures, landscapes, &c., 
were by no means uncommon, though curious ; it being cus- 
tomary, with most persons who went to see him, to purchase 
something or other of his performance ; and as he was always 
employed in writing or drawing, he carried on a very success- 
ful trade, which, together with the money he obtained by ex- 
hibiting himself, enabled him to support himself and family in 
a very genteel manner. Mr. Herbert, of Cheshunt, editor of 
"Ames's History of Printing," had many curious specimens of 
Buchinger's writing and drawing, the most extraordinary of 
which was his own portrait, exquisitely done on vellum, in 
which he most ingeniously contrived to insert, in the flowing 
curls of the wig, the 27th, 121st, 128th, 140th, 149th, and 
150th Psalms, together with the Lord's Prayer, most beauti- 
fully and fairly written. Mr. Isaac Herbert, son of the former, 
while carrying on the business of a bookseller in Pall Mall, 
caused this portrait to be engraved, for which he paid Mr. 
Harding fifty guineas. 

Buchinger was married four times, and had eleven children, 
viz., one by his first wife, three by his second, six by his third, 
and one by his last. One of his wives was in the habit of 
treating him extremely ill, frequently beating and otherwise 
insulting him, which for a long time he very patiently put up 
with; but once his anger was so much roused, that he sprang 
upon her like a fury, got her down, and buifeted her with bis 
stumps within an inch of her life ; nor would he suffer her to 
rise until she promised amendment in future, which it seems 
she prudently adopted, through fear of another thrashing. 

Mr. Buchinger was but twenty-nine inches in height. He 
died in 1722. 

En^a-averi ~hy R . JEag-e. 

jebbjiet jnEssrisims, 

W/zcs /wa- ' fe /fa 


Henry Jenkins, 

The Modern Methusaleh. 

"T^EW countries can produce such numerous instances of ex- 
-*- traordinary longevity as the British islands, which afford 
incontestable proof of the healthiness of their climate. Among 
these examples, the most remarkable is, perhaps, that of Henry 
Jenkins, who attained the patriarchal age of 169 years. The 
only account now extant of this venerable man, is that given 
by Mrs. Anne Saville, who resided at Bolton, in Yorkshire, 
where Jenkins lived, and had frequent opportunities of seeing 
and conversing with him. 

" When I came," says she, " to live at Bolton, I was told 
several particulars of the great age of Henry Jenkins ; but I 
believed little of the story for many years, till one day he 
coming to beg an alms, I desired him to tell me truly how old 
he was. He paused a little, and then said, that to the best of 
his remembrance, he was about 162 or 163 ; and I asked, what 
kings he remembered ? He said, Henry VIII. I asked what 
public thing he could longest remember 1 he said Flodden 
Field. -I asked whether the king was there 1 he said, no, he 
was in France, and the Earl of Surrey was general. I asked him 
how old he might be then ; he said, I believe I might be be- 
tween ten and twelve ; for, says he, I was sent to Northallerton 
with a horse-load of arrows, but they sent a bigger boy from 
thence to the army with them. All this agreed with the his- 
tory of that time ; for bows and arrows were then used, the 
Earl he named was general, and King Henry VIII. was then at 
Tournay. And yet it is observable that this Jenkins could 
neither read nor write. There were also four or five in the 
same parish that were reputed all of them to be 100 years old, 
or within two or three years of it, and they 1 all said he was an 
elderly man ever since they knew him ; for he was born in 
another parish, and before any registers were in churches, as it 
is said. He told me then too that he was butler to the Lord 



Conyers, and remembered the Abbot of Fountains Abbey very 
well, before the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry Jenkins 
departed this life, December 8, 1670, at Eller,ton-upon-Swale 
in Yorkshire. The battle of Flodden Field was fought Sep- 
tember 9, 1513, and he was twelve years old when Flodden 
Field was fought. So that this Henry Jenkins lived 169 
years, viz. sixteen years longer than old Parr, and was, it is 
supposed, the oldest man born upon the ruins of the post-dilu- 
vian world. 

" In the last century of his life he was a fisherman, and used 
to trade in the streams : his diet was coarse and sour, and to- 
wards the latter end of his days he begged up and down. He 
has sworn in Chancery, and other courts, to above 140 years 
memory, and was often at the assizes at York, whither he 
generally went on foot ; and I have heard some of the country 
gentlemen affirm, that he frequently swam in the rivers after 
he was past the age of 100 years. In the king's remem- 
brancer's office in the Exchequer, is a record of a deposition in 
a cause by English bill, between Anthony Clark and Smirkson, 
taken 1665, at Kettering in Yorkshire, where Henry Jenkins, 
of Ellerton-upon-Swale, labourer, aged 157 years, was produced 
and deposed as a witness." 

About seventy years after his death a monument was erected 
at Bolton, by a subscription of the parishioners to perpetuate 
the memory of this remarkable man. Upon it was engraved 
the following inscription : — 

" Blush not, marble, to rescue from oblivion the memory of 
Henry Jenkins, a person, of obscure birth, but of a 
life truly memorable: for he was enriched with the 
goods of nature, if not of fortune, and happy in the 
duration, if not variety of his enjoyments : and though 
the partial world despised and disregarded his low and 
humble state, the equal eye of Providence beheld and 
blessed it with a patriaroh's health and length of days, 
to teach mistaken man these blessings are entailed on 
temperance, a life of labour, and a mind at ease. He 
lived to the amazing age of 169: was interred here, 
December 16, 1670, and had this justice done to his 
memory, 1743." 

Engraved"b r'Pv T?ag-e 


y/Y/T/f- < 



(M/oifl :fe> cltfv-wuiJ'. y-t;s/<7 tt^Jw/'am//. 



Prime Minister to Al&ointts. 

'"pHOUGH nature had been unfavourable to this wonderful 
■*■ character with respect to his body, she had recompensed 
him by the subtlety, the agreeableness, and the solidity of the 
mind she had united to it. This advantage, infinitely more 
precious than all others, raised him from being a simple and 
mean peasant, to be the favourite ,of a great prince, and happily 
extricated him out of all the snares and dangers that had been 
laid for him. 

Bertholde had a large head, as round as a foot-ball, adorned 
with red hair very strait, and which had a great resemblance 
to the bristles of a hog ; an extremely short forehead, furrowed 
with wrinkles ; two little blear eyes, edged round with a border 
of bright carnation, and over-shadowed by a pair of large eye- 
brows, which, upon occasion, might be made use of as brushes ; 
a fiat red nose, resembling an extinguisher ; a wide mouth, from 
which proceeded two long crooked teeth, not unlike the tusks 
of a boar, and pointing to a pair of ears, like those which for- 
merly belonged to Midas ; a lip of a monstrous thickness, which 
hung down on a chin,' that seemed to sink under the load of a 
beard, thick, strait, and bristly ; a very short neck, which na- 
ture had adorned with a kind of necklace, formed of ten or 
twelve small wens. The rest of his body was perfectly in 
keeping with the grotesque appearance of his visage ; so that 
from head to foot, he was a kind of monster, who, by his de- 
formity, and the hair with which he was covered, had a greater 
resemblance to a bear half licked into form, than to a human 

He was born of poor parents, in a village called Bertagnona, 
at some miles distance from Verona. The small fortune of his 
father, and his having ten children, would not permit the good 
man to give them the least education. But as for Bertholde, 
he had a fund of wit, which sufficiently made him amends for 



the poverty of his parents, and the deformity of his person, 
which was more fit to affright children than to raise his for- 
tune ; and therefore, the nurses and mothers of the village had 
nothing to do but to mention his name to make their chil- 
dren quiet when crying, or to make them cry when they were 

But the pleasure he gave to the other peasants, was equal to 
the terror his figure caused in the little innocents. Bertholde 
diverted them on Sundays, and every festival, with the sallies 
of his wit : he instructed them by excellent sentences, which 
he uttered from time to time ; so that, next to the priest and 
the lord of the manor, no person in the village was treated 
with greater respect. His poverty, contrary to custom, was 
not considered as a vice ; and, what is very strange, it did not 
render him the object of aversion and contempt. So far was 
this from being the case, the honest country people, in order to 
keep him amongst them, would have contributed to his sup- 
port ; but he, not willing to be a burden to them, chose rather 
to leave the village, and to seek a living elsewhere. 

With this view he went to Verona, where Alboin, the first 
king of the Lombards, after having conquered the greatest part 
of Italy, kept his court. Chance conducted Bertholde to the 
palace of this prince, and while he was gazing and wondering 
at the beauty of the building, his attention was drawn aside, 
to observe two women at a small distance, who had neither 
nails nor fingers enough to scratch with, nor a volubility of 
tongue sufficient to give vent to the torrent of abuse they 
seemed willing to cast out at each other. 

Bertholde was so much diverted with this scene, that he had 
no inclination to put an end to it ; but a stop was put to his 
satisfaction by one of the king's officers, who came with his 
orders for parting the combatants ; he commanded them to lay 
their complaints before his majesty, who had promised to do 
them justice. Upon this their fury ceased, each picked up her 
cap, and finding her clothes torn, and her person somewhat 
discomposed, they both begged leave to retire for a while, that 
they might appear with greater decency before the king. 


Bertholde hearing this, conceived some idea of the goodness 
of his sovereign, and as he had never seen him, resolved to pay 
him a visit. In this age, the gates of palaces were not yet 
blocked up with guards, every one had free access to lay his 
grievances before the throne. 

Though a peasant, though a clown, though disgraced by na- 
ture, reason dictated to him, that all men were formed by the 
same hand, and created in perfect equality; he therefore 
thought there was no person on earth with whom he might not 
be allowed to converse familiarly. 

In consequence of this principle, he entered the palace with- 
out any conductor, marched up stairs, traversed the apartments, 
and entered into that in which the king was surrounded by his 
courtiers, who were conversing with him in a respectful posture, 
and laughing at the two women who had just been quarrelling 
before the window : but how great was their astonishment to 
see Bertholde walk in with his hat on his head, and, without 
speaking a word, come boldly up to them, and seat himself by 
the side of the king, in a chair, which they, out of respect, 
had left empty ! Surprised at this rusticity, and more still at 
his grotesque appearance, they stood immovable at the view 
of this second ^Esop, whose mean dress was very suitable to 
his deformity. From this rustic behaviour, the king easily 
guessed, that he was one whom curiosity had brought to his 
court. And as he had learned from experience, that nature 
sometimes hides her treasure under the most unpromising form, 
he resolved to have a familiar conversation with him, and for 
a few minutes, in complaisance to the clown, to forget his own 
grandeur and dignity. " Who are you 1" cried the prince to 
Bertholde : " How did you come into the world ? What is 
your country 1" — " I am a man," replied the peasant : " I came 
into the world in the manner Providence sent me, and the 
world itself is my country." 

The king then asked him several questions, which had not 
the least connexion with each other — a trial of wit, which in 
those days was much used at the courts of sovereign princes. 
And this is the substance of the discourse, as it is preserved in 


the ancient records of the country. " What thing is that which 
flies the swiftest ?" cried the monarch. — " Thought," answered 
Bertholde. "What is the gulf that is never filled ?"—" The 
avarice of the miser." "What is most hateful in young peo- 
ple ?" — " Self-conceit, because it makes them incorrigible." 
" What is most ridiculous in the old ?"— " Love." " Who are 
most lavish of their caresses ?" — " Those who intend to deceive 
us, and those who have already done it." " What are the 
things most dangerous in a house?" — "A wicked wife, and the 
tongue of a servant." " What is the husband's most incurable 
disease ?" — " The infidelity of his wife." " What way will you 
take to bring water into a sieve ?" — " I'll stay till it is frozen." 
" How will you catch a hare without running ?" — " I will wait 
till I find her on the spit." 

The king was astonished at the readiness with which he an- 
swered these questions ; and to let him see his satisfaction, 
promised to give him anything he could desire. "I defy you," 
replied Bertholde, bluntly. " How so," replied his majesty ; 
" do you doubt my good will ?" — " No ; but I aspire after what 
you do not possess, and consequently cannot give to me." 
" And what is this precious thing that I do not possess ?" — 
"Happiness, which was never in the power of kings, who enjoy 
less of it than the rest of mankind." " How ! am not I happy 
on so elevated a throne ?" — " Yes, you are, if the happiness of 
a man consists in the height of his seat." " Do you see these 
lords and gentlemen that are continually about me, would they 
be always ready to obey me, if they were not convinced of my 
power?" — "And do you not see, in your turn, that there, are as 
many crows, waiting to devour a carcase, and who, to prevent 
its seeing their designs, begin by picking out its eyes." " Well 
said, but all this does not hinder me from shining in the midst 
of them, as the sun amongst the stars." — " True, but tell me, 
shining sun, how many eclipses you are obliged to suffer in a 
year?" "Why do you put this question?" — "Because the 
continual flattery of these gentlemen will raise a cloud that 
must darken your understanding." " On this foot, then, you 
would not be a courtier ?" — " Miserable as I am, I should be 


sorry to be placed in the rank of slaves : besides, I am neither 
knave, traitor, nor liar, and consequently have not the necessary 
qualities for succeeding in this fine employment." " What are 
you then to seek for at my court 1" — "What I have not been 
able to find there ; for I had imagined a king to be as much 
above other men, as a steeple is above common houses ; but I 
have soon found, that I have honoured them more than they 

Of all the virtues, those of frankness and sincerity have been 
in every age least recompensed in a court. This Bertholde ex- 
perienced ; for the king, shocked at the little regard he ex- 
pressed for his person, told him, that if he was unwilling to be 
turned out in an ignominious manner, he must leave the palace 
immediately. He obeyed ; but as he was going, said, with an 
air of gaiety, that he was of the nature of flies, which the more 
you attempt to drive away, the more obstinately are they bent 
on their return. " I permit you to return like them," cried the 
monarch, " provided you bring them along with you ; but if 
you appear without them, you shall forfeit your head." — 
" Agreed," replied the peasant ; " to do this, I will only take a 
step to our village." The king gave his consent, and Bertholde 
hasted away. The monarch did not doubt of his keeping his 
word ; but had a great curiosity to see in what manner he 
would perform it, and the clown soon satisfied him : for he had 
no sooner reached the village, than running to a stable belong- 
ing to one of his brothers, he took out an old ass, whose back 
and buttocks had lost the friendly covering of a sound skin, 
and mounting on his back, turned again to Verona, accompanied 
by an infinite number of flies riding behind him, and in this 
equipage arrived at the palace ; when commending the fidelity 
with which they had stuck to the beast, and attending him all 
the way, he told the king, that he kept his promise ; and 
Alboin, pleased with the stratagem, soon conceived such an 
idea of his abilities, that he imagined he might be useful to 
him, in helping him to disentagle the intricacies of government, 
and therefore gave him free leave to stay at court. 
n I shall omit the various contests between Bertholde and the 


king, on the virtues and vices of the ladies, in which the king 
did justice to their merit, while our hero endeavoured to bring 
them into contempt. But I cannot avoid taking notice of a 
petition of the ladies of the court, to obtain a share in the go- 
vernment, and administration of affairs. 

The king having read their long request, which the queen 
had engaged the chancellor to deliver to him, replied, that this 
affair being of very great importance, required his serious con- 
sideration ; that he would weigh the matter, and give the ladies 
an answer in an audience, to which they should be admitted 
the next day. 

Bertholde, the enemy of beauty, could not hear the petition 
and reply, without bursting into a loud laugh. The king asked 
the reason : Bertholde ridiculed his complaisance and the easi- 
ness of his temper, when the king replied, that he was in a 
terrible embarrassment ; that he should be ruined if he granted 
their request, and that his danger would not be less if he re- 
fused it. " A refusal," said he, "will enrage them; they are 
able to revenge themselves, by making their husbands, who 
have the command of my troops, rise up against me. My dear 
Bertholde,'' added he, " Bertholde, my faithful friend, help me 
out of this labyrinth : thy imagination, fertile in stratagems, 
has hitherto drawn thee out of the dangers thou hast fallen 
into at my court, and I am persuaded thou canst relieve me 
out of this." Bertholde promised everything, and desired the 
king to be satisfied. Having stood musing for a moment, he 
left the palace, went to the market, and bought a little bird : 
he shut it in a box in presence of the king, gave it to him, and 
desired him to send it to the queen, for her to give it to the 
ladies who had presented her the petition, with a most express 
prohibition against opening the box, on pain of incurring his 
highest indignation ; but to keep it till the next day, when it 
should be opened before him, at the audience he had promised 
to grant them. 

The officer to whom the box was given, discharged his com- 
mission, and the queen also gave the box to the ladies, who 
were still with that princess, talking together on the answer 


the chancellor had brought from the king. As we easily per- 
suade ourselves to believe what flatters our self-love, there was 
not one present who did not think that their request was 
already granted. His majesty, said they, is sensible of the 
justice of our demand, and as he is equity itself, he immediately 
found that it was impossible for him to refuse us ; to heighten 
the favour which he will certainly grant us, he has only thought 
fit to defer it till to-morrow. There is now no doubt, con- 
tinued they, but that this box contains something- extremely 
valuable, and the confidence with which he has deposited it in 
our hands, shows also, that he does not think us unworthy of 
the honour. Come ladies, let him see that we deserve it, by 
an exact and faithful observance of the prohibition relating to 
this precious treasure. 

At this they took leave of the queen, and after having agreed 
to assemble the next day at the governor's lady's, in order to 
go to the audience in a body, each returned home. 

They were hardly got home, when every one of them was 
filled with an impatient desire to know what it could be that 
was contained in that box ; and this impatience increased to 
such a degree that they could not sleep all night. Never was 
any hour watched with more impatience than that appointed 
for their assembling at the governor's lady's, and they were all 
there three quarters of an hour before the time appointed. 
They all began to discourse on the box they had received the 
evening before, which the governor had taken from his wife as 
soon as she came home ; and fearing lest her well-known curi- 
osity should bring him into disgrace, had taken the precaution 
to lock it up in his cabinet. However, as the time of audience 
approached, it was brought out, and given to the assembly. 

The box no sooner appeared, than they viewed it with the 
utmost impatience, and all being eager to see the hidden trea- 
sure, several very fine speeches were made to show, that there 
could be no harm in just satisfying their curiosity ; in short, 
this was a proposal that met with the unanimous concurrence 
of all present ; and as the box had no lock, it was immediately 
opened, when out flew the little bird, which, taking to a window 


that stood open, disappeared in a moment. How shall I des- 
cribe the consternation of these unhappy ladies at seeing the 
bird fly away, aud the box empty ! They had not time to see 
whether it was a linnet, a nightingale, a canary-bird, or a 
sparrow ; had they but known of what species it was, they 
would have another in its place ; but this secret was only 
known to the king and Bertholde. 

Their consternation now kept them silent, and they no sooner 
recovered their speech, than they burst into tears and lament- 
ations. It was in vain for them, they said to hide their dis- 
obedience from the king — with what face could they appear 
before him? And then reproaching themselves, "0 this 
unhappy, this cursed curiosity," cried the governor's lady, " has 
ruined us all ! fatal box, a thousand times more fatal than 
that of Pandora ! If the curiosity that opened that box, occa- 
sioned evils on earth, a hope of deliverance, and a cure for those 
evils remained at the bottom ; but alas ! alas ! we have not 
this feeble consolation !" 

Meanwhile the hour of audience approached, and in the per- 
plexity they were in, they knew not whether they should go 
to the palace or return home, when one of the ladies proposed, 
that they should throw themselves at the feet of the queen, tell 
her their misfortune, and entreat her to make use of her 
authority and credit with the king to prevent the effects of his 
anger, and they all unanimously embraced the proposal ; hut 
while they were preparing to set out, a page from that princess 
came for the box, on which they returned for answer, that they 
were bringing it : but they no sooner stood before the queen, 
than perceiving the box in the hand of the governor's lady, she 
viewed it with eagerness, snatched it, and in an instant opened 
the lid, when confused and astonished she burst into a rage 
against the long, for having sported with a curiosity that had 
given her the extremest inquietude ; when the governor's lady, 
with abundance of tears, acknowledged her fault, and in the 
name of all the ladies, begged her to endeavour to obtain their 
pardon. The queen was sensible of their afflictions, and pro- 
mised to undertake their cause. 


In the mean time the king, who waited for them, was sur- 
prised at their delay, and had. mentioned it to Bertholde, who 
imputed it to the success of his stratagem. While they were 
talking on this subject, the queen entered, accompanied by the 
ladies, to the number of about 300, when their melancholy and 
dejected air confirmed the truth of this opinion. 

The king, having seated the queen by his side, asked the 
cause of this visit : — " You have read," said she, " the request 
I caused to be presented to you yesterday, in the name of all 
these ladies, and we are come for the answer you promised to 
give us.'' " It is in this box," answered the king, and at the 
same time was going to open it. "Your majesty may spare 
yourself the trouble," replied the queen, " the bird is flown : 
the curiosity of these ladies has caused this accident, and you 
see them all at your majesty's feet to implore your pardon." 
And indeed, the ladies, as soon as the king attempted to open 
it, had prostrated themselves with their faces to the ground. 

At these words the king seeming in a violent rage, " Is it 
thus then," said he, in an angry .tone ; " is it thus that you 
obey me ? Have you let the bird fly that I intrusted to your 
care, in spite of the strict orders I gave to the contrary ; and 
have you the front after this, to come to desire me to admit 
you into my councils, and enter into the affairs of my govern- 
ment and kingdom ? How can you keep the secrets that will 
be there treated of, secrets of the greatest importance, since on 
those principally depend the happiness or misery of my people, 
the prosperity or ruin of my kingdom, and the safety or fall 
of my throne ? How can you resist your inclination to divulge 
them, when in spite of my prohibitions and threatenings, you 
have not been able to restrain your curiosity for half a day. 
60, foolish as you are ; you deserve to be punished with the 
utmost severity ; but out of respect to the queen, who has con- 
descended to interest herself in your affairs, I consent to pardon 
yon ; but let me, for the time to come, never hear of the like 
extravagances. And believe me, it is not without the best and. 
most solid reasons, that the laws have excluded you from the 


The king's pleasure at the success of this scheme was not less 
than the mortification the poor ladies suffered in hearing this 
discourse ; and they were no sooner gone, than he made his 
acknowledgments to Bertholde. "The more I know you," 
said he, " the more I esteem and admire you ; as a proof of my 
satisfaction, receive from my hand this ring, and my treasurer 
shall give you 1000 crowns." " Do not he displeased," replied 
Bertholde, " if I disobey you ; my sincerity has always made 
me too many enemies, for whom, however, I do not care a far- 
thing, for he who desires nothing, and has nothing, has nothing 
to fear. Nature has made me free, and I resolve to keep my 
freedom as long as my life : but I cannot be free if I take your 
presents, for as the proverb says, 'He who takes, sells himself.'" 
" How then," replied the king, " shall I show my gratitude f 
" I have heard," said Bertholde, " that it is more glorious to 
deserve the favours of a prince, and to refuse them, than to 
receive without deserving them. If I was capable of vanity, 
your good-will would be more agreeable to me than all the 
presents in the world." 

While they were talking in this manner, the king received a 
letter from the queen, who, resolving to be revenged on the 
cause of the ladies' disgrace, sent for the unhappy peasant, 
who by many artifices evaded the force of her resentment. 
She had four large dogs placed in the court through which he 
was to pass, in order to tear him to pieces : this he was in- 
formed of, and getting a brace of live hares, carried them under 
his arms, and letting them loose at the approach of the dogs, 
was instantly delivered from these enemies. He then, to the 
queen's surprise, appeared before her, was put into a sack, and 
in this condition confined in a room till the next day, when he 
was to be thrown into the river ; but he had' the address to 
persuade the soldier who was set over him, to let him out and 
take his place ; and then stealing the queen's robe, and her 
veil, in this disguise got out of the palace. But the next day 
he was found, and the monarch was obliged to satisfy the 
queen's resentment, by ordering him to be hanged on a tree,,, 
Bertholde besought the king to take care of his family, and to 

R,n graved "by 'RsPagfe . 


let him choose the tree on which he was to die. The monarch 
freely consented, and gave him a guard to see that the execu- 
tioner gave him his choice. The trees of every wood for 
many miles round were examined, and Bertholde, very wisely, 
objected to all that were proposed, till the executioner and 
guard being weary of the fruitless search, set him at liberty. 
At their return, the guards found the king lamenting the loss 
of a faithful and able servant ; he rejoiced to hear that he was 
still alive, and having found the place of his retreat, went him- 
self to persuade him to return to court ; this he not only ac- 
complished, but reconciled him to the queen. He was then 
made prime minister, and under his influence .the reign of this 
prince was happy, and his people enjoyed all the happiness they 
could reasonably desire. 

Lord Rokeby, 

Of Singular Eccentricity. 

•^* Septimus Robinson, Knt., was born at his father's house 
at Mount Morris, in Horton, near Hythe, in the county of 
Kent, in the year 1712. His early years were spent in this 
place, till he went to Westminster School, whence he was ad- 
mitted at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, a pensioner, where he took 
his degree of bachelor of laws, and was soon after elected a 
fellow of the society, a place which he retained to the day of 
his death. It is not unusual at Trinity Hall, for men of large 
fortune to retain their fellowships. The society consists of 
twelve fellows, two of whom only are clergymen, and perform 
the regular and necessary duties of the college, such as those 
of tutor, lecturer, dean : but the other ten fellows seldom or 
never make their appearance in Cambridge, unless at the twelve 
days of Christmas, at which time the usual hospitality of that 
season of the year is conspicuous in the college, and the lay- 


fellows having enjoyed good eating and drinking, and examined 
the college accounts, return to Doctor's Commons, the Inns of 
Court, or their country seats. Mr. Eobinson, in the early part 
of his life, used sometimes to be of these parties, where his com- 
pany was always acceptable, and his absence always regretted. 
As heir to a country gentleman of considerable property, he 
was not compelled to apply his abilities to the usual pursuits of 
a laborious and now almost technical profession ; he enjoyed an 
introduction to the higher circles of life, and being possessed 
of the advantages of a liberal education, and accomplished 
manners, he united the studies of the scholar with the occupa- 
pations of a gentleman, and divided his time very agreeably 
between Horton, London, Bath, and Cambridge. In this 
period of his life the celebrated peace of Arx-la-Chapelle, 
attracted the attention of Europe ; and the place appointed for 
negociation, at all times, from its waters, of great resort, was 
more than usually filled with good company. Soon after the 
ambassadors had taken up their abode here, Mr. Eobinson 
escorted Lady Sandwich to this grand scene of gallantry and 
politics, where the classical taste of Lord Sandwich, the eccen- 
tricity of Wortley Montague, among his own countrymen, .the 
prudence of Prince Kaunitz, the solidity of the Dutch depu- 
ties, and the charms of their ladies, for the Dutch belles car- 
ried away the palm of beauty at this treaty, afforded him an 
inexhaustible fund of instruction and entertainment. Having 
no official employment, and appearing in that once envied cha- 
racter of an English gentleman, his company was generally 
sought after, and the ladies of the higher class thought their 
parties incomplete without his presence, and the corps diplo- 
matique bowed to his credentials. 

Among the women none more sprightly, none more ready to 
join innocent mirth, or to be the subject of it when a mistake 
in his language might give occasion to pleasure ; but foreigners 
admired the strength of his character, when his conversation 
was suited to graver subjects, and no man presumed to laugh 
at his mistakes without repenting of his temerity. Eespected 
by the men, and acceptable to the women, he was noted here 


for a singularity which he retained during his whole life, a re- 
markable attachment to bathing. He surprised the medical 
men by the length of his stay in the hot-bath, very often two 
hours or more at a time, and by going in and out without any 
of the precautions which were then usual, and which future 
experience has proved to be unnecessary. On his return to Eng- 
land nothing particular happened to him till his election to par- 
liament by the city of Canterbury, which place he represented, 
and, we may add, really represented, for two successive par- 
liaments. His neighbourhood to Canterbury had naturally in- 
troduced him to some of the higher classes of that city ; but 
he had no idea of a slight acquaintance with a few only of his 
constituents, he would know and be known to them all. His 
visits to Canterbury gratified himself and them. They were 
visits to his constituents, whom he called on at their shops and 
their looms, walked within their market-places, spent the even- 
ing with at their clubs. He could do this from one of his 
principles, which he had studied with the greatest attention, 
and maintained with the utmost firmness, the natural equality 
of man. No one was more sensible than himself of the ad- 
vantages and disadvantages of birth, rank, and fortune. He 
could live with the highest, and he could also live with the 
lowest in society ; with the forms necessary for an intercourse 
with the former class he was perfectly well acquainted, and he 
could put them in practice ; to the absence of these restraints 
he could familiarize himself, and could enter into casual conver- 
sation with the vulgar, as they are called, making them forget 
the difference of rank, as much as he disregarded it. Hence, 
perhaps, there never was a representative more respected and 
. heloved by his constituents, and his attention to the duties of 
parliament entitled him to their veneration. Independent of 
all parties, he uttered the sentiments of his heart ; he weighed 
the propriety of every measure, and gave his vote according to 
the preponderance of argument. The natural consequence of 
such a conduct was, in the first parliament a disgust with the 
manners of the house ; and he would have resigned his seat at 
■ the general election, if his father had not particularly desired 


him to make one more trial, and presented him at the same 
time with a purse, not such as has lately been thought neces- 
sary, for the party to pay his election expenses. Mr. Bobinson 
was re-elected, and, what will astonish the generality of mem- 
bers, made no demand on his father for election bills ; for, 
after paying every expence with liberality, he found himself a 
gainer, in a considerable sum, by the election. Corruption had 
not then made such dreadful havoc in the mind as it has been 
our destiny to lament in a subsequent period, yet Mr. E. found 
himself uneasy in the performance of his duty. He conceived 
that a member of parliament should carry into the house a sin- 
cere love of his country, sound knowledge, attention to busi- 
ness, and firm independence — that measures were not to he 
planned and adopted in a minister's parlour, nor the House of 
Commons to be a mere chamber of parliament to register his 
decrees — that in the House of Commons every member was 
equal ; that it knew no distinction of minister, county-member, 
city-member, or borough-member. That each individual mem- 
ber had a right to propose, to assist in deliberation, aid by his 
vote in carrying or rejecting a measure, according to the dic- 
tates of his own mind ; and that the greatest traitors with 
which a country could be cursed, were such persons as would 
enter into parliament without any intention of studying its 
duties and examining measures, but with a firm determination 
to support the minister, or his opponents, according as the ex- 
pectation or actual enjoyment of a place, pension, or emolument 
derived from administration, led them to enlist under the ban- 
ners of one or the other party. Even in his time he thought 
he saw too great confidence placed in the heads of party ; too 
little rejiance on private judgment, too little attention to par- 
liamentary duties. The uniform success of every ministerial 
measure did not accord with his ideas of a deliberative body, 
and he determined to quit a place in which he thought himself 
incapable of promoting the public good ; and where he was 
determined not to be aiding or abetting in any other measures. 
To the great regret of his constituents he declined the offer of 
representing them at the next election, and no future entreaties 


could induce him to resume an occupation in which, as he told 
them, better eyes were required than his to see, better ears to 
hear, and better lungs to oppose the tricks of future ministers. 
By the death of his father, in the second period of his par- 
liamentary life, Mr. Eobinson came into possession of the 
paternal estate, and had now a full opportunity of realizing his 
own schemes of life. About twelve miles from Canterbury, on 
the ancient Eoman road leading to the Portus Lemanus, the 
present Lympne, by turning a few paces to the left, the walker, 
who has been fatigued, as much by the uniformity as the 
roughness of the road, feels on a sudden his heart expanded by 
a most extensive prospect, which ; he commands from a lofty 
eminence. Before him and under his feet, at a distance of five 
or six miles, commences the vast flat, known by the name of 
Eomney Marsh, which, with the Weald of Kent, is bound to 
his eye by Dungeness, Beachy Head, and the hills of Sussex 
and Surrey, and the ridge of hills on a part of which he stands, 
and which runs through nearly the middle of the county of 
Kent into Surrey. Turning eastward, he perceives the sea, 
and has a glimpse of the coasts of France : his view is bounded 
by hills still higher, as he turns to the north ; but from the top 
of these hills, at half a mile distance from the spot on which 
he stands, he commands the same extensive prospect over the 
marsh and "West Kent, which is enriched on a fine day by the 
view of the coast of France from Boulogne to Calais, seeming 
scarcely to be separated from the island. At the bottom of 
these hills stands the family mansion, a substantial brick house, 
with offices suited to the residence of a man with four or five 
thousand a year. "When Mr. B. came to the estate, there 
were about eight hundred acres round the house, partly in his 
own occupation, partly let out to tenants : they were allotted 
into fields of various dimensions, bounded by the. substantial 
hedges so well known to be the ornament of Kent, but cutting 
the ground into too many minute parts for picturesque beauty. 
There was a garden walled in, and suitable roads to the house. 
Mr. E. took the whole of this land into his own occupation as 
soon as possible ; and nature, with his occupancy, began to 



resume her rights. The only boundaries on his estate were soon 
only those which separated his land from that of his neighbours. 
Adieu to the use of gates or stiles in the interior : they were 
left to gradual decay ; the soil was not disturbed by the labours 
of horse and man ; the cattle had free liberty to stray wherever 
they pleased ; the trees were no longer dishonoured by the axe 
of the woodman, the pollards strove to recover their pristine 
vigour, the uniformity of hedges and ditches gradually disap- 
peared. The richest verdure clothed both hills and valleys, 
and the master of the mansion wandered freely in his grounds, 
enjoying his own independence and that of the brute creation 
around him. 

The singularity of this taste excited naturally a great deal of 
curiosity, and, as usual, no small degree of censure. But, 
whatever may be objected on the score of profit, it is certain 
that the gain on the scale of picturesque beauty was, we might 
almost say, infinite. In a national view, the subject admits 
of much discussion : but the question, which was often agitated 
by Mr. E. and in whose opinion we are inclined to place great 
confidence, has seldom been fairly stated and argued. The 
point is, could these acres have produced so much food, and 
clothing, and implements for manufactures, if they had been 
subject to tillage and the usual mode of agriculture ? In these 
times of agricultural curiosity the question becomes interesting, 
but the present limits do not permit us to enter into the whole 
of Mr. E's. views in the management of his affairs. But the 
gaps in the hedges, the growing up of the pollards, and the 
verdure of the grounds might have been supportable, if the 
coach roads also had not disappeared, the coach-house become 
useless, the garden been trodden under foot by horses and oxen, 
the hay lofts superfluous. At the same time that nature re- 
sumed her rights over his fields, she took full possession of the 
master, and gave him the active use of his limbs. The family 
coach stirred not from its place to the day of his death : he 
seldom got into a chaise, and performed long journeys on foot. 
Naturally of a tender and delicate constitution, he thus became 
hardened to all weathers, and enjoyed his faculties and spirits 


to the day of his death. Indulging himself in. these pecu- 
liarities, in which by the way, to say the worst of them, he was 
no man's enemy but his own, he kept up a considerable inter- 
course with his neighbours, and correspondence with characters 
eminent in the political world: he published a pamphlet on the 
American war, replete with sound sense, and which procured, 
among other marks of respect, a journey from London to Bath, 
by a person with the express view, and extreme desire, of con- 
versing with its author. He reprobated, during the whole of 
that unnatural contest, the conduct of administration ; and the 
men of Kent, who were not at that time subdued by ministerial 
influence, listened with pleasure to its firm opponent at their 
county meetings. 

About that period, he either formed the opinion, or began 
to express it with an unusual degree of confidence, that the 
Bank of England would break during his life-time. He was so 
firmly convinced of it in his own mind, that it became a pretty 
constant topic with him ; and, when he met with opponents, 
he defended it with such strength of argument as could not 
easily be resisted. One day the conversation on this subject 
ended in a singular wager, which was taken down in writing, 
purporting that the heirs and executors of Mr. Bobinson should 
pay to the other party, an alderman of Canterbury, the sum of 
ten pounds, if the Bank did not break during the life-time of 
the former ; and on the other hand, that the alderman should 
be similarly bound to pay the sum of ten pounds if the Bank 
did break in Mr. E.'s life-time. The proof was to depend on 
a bank-note of ten pounds being offered at the Bank, and not 
producing in return ten pounds in specie. Every year added 
strength to the singularity of Mr. E.'s opinion, and he main- 
tained it as firmly as another on a philosophical subject, which 
he defended with great vigour of mind, and, when past eighty 
years of age, supported by quotations from the classics, re- 
peated with the utmost energy and classical taste — The future 
destruction of the earth by fire. On this question, he solicited 
no aid from the arguments sometimes used in the pulpit on 
the same subject ; for the path to his church was grown over, 



and his pew left to the same decay as his coach-house. Yet 
this circumstance led to a trait in his character, which was 
better discovered by his own recital of the anecdote, than it can 
be by the pen of the writer. 

A little time before the death of the Archbishop of Armagh, 
he made a visit into Kent, to see his relations, and among 
them, him who was to inherit his title. " The archbishop told 
me," said Mr. E., " that he would dine with me on Saturday. 
I gave orders for dinner and so forth for my cousin, the arch- 
bishop ; but I never thought till he came, that the next day 
was Sunday. What was I to do 1 here was my cousin the 
archbishop, and he must go to church, and there was no way 
to the church, and the chancel- door had been locked up for 
these thirty years, and my pew was certainly not fit for my 
cousin, the archbishop. I sent off immediately to Hythe for 
the carpenters, and the joiners, and the drapers, and into the 
village for the labourers, the mowers, and the gravel-carters. 
All went to work, the path was moved, the gravel was thrown 
on and rolled, a gate made for the churchyard, the chancel-door 
opened and cleaned, a new pew set up, well lined and stuffed, 
and cushioned ; and the next day I walked by the side of my 
cousin, the archbishop, to church, who found every thing right 
and proper : but I have not been to church since, I assure you." 
This singularity in abstaining from the places of religious wor- 
ship arose, partly from the exalted view which he entertained 
of the nature of the Deity, whose altars, he used emphatically 
to say, were earth, sea, skies ; from the little regard he paid to 
the clerical or ministerial character, and from the disgust in his 
mind at the stress laid by divines upon trifles, their illiberality 
in wishing every one to rely upon them for their faith, their 
frequent persecution of others, and from a strange opinion of 
the great inefficacy of their preaching. Eeligion he conceived 
to be a mere personal concern between the creature and the 
Creator ; and the Supreme, in his opinion, was degraded by 
being made a party in questions often political, and on the 
mode of his existence being made a barrier between the natives 
of the same island. Yet with these opinions, he could converse 


with the clergy of all descriptions as freely as with other men ; 
and, where they were men of liberal education and enlightened 
minds, was much gratified by the pleasure of their company. 

In the year, 1794, Mr. E. became, by the death of the Arch- 
bishop of Armagh, Lord Eokeby ; and it is natural to ask what 
difference the title made in his manners ? Precisely none. He 
was now addressed by the title of lord instead of sir ; and, as 
he used to say, they are both the same in the Latin. Yet the 
accession to his title gave him rights in Ireland, and his letter to 
Lord Castlereagh showed that he was not unworthy of them, 
and that if age and infirmities had presented no obstacles, the 
Irish House of Lords would have been dignified, by the pre- 
sence of a man who assumed for his motto, on this occasion, 
what he really possessed in his heart, independence. Very 
fantastical notions accompany, in some persons' minds, the titles 
of the peerage. They think of fine dress, splendid carriages, 
haughty demeanour, something differing from the many. Such 
persons were much embarrassed at the sight of Lord Eokeby. 
A venerable man with a long beard, sallow complexion, furrows 
on his forehead, the traces of deep thinking, fore part of the 
head bald, from the hinder flowing long and lank locks of white 
hair, a white or blue flannel coat and waistcoat, and breeches, 
worsted stockings, and shoes tied with black strings. The 
ruffles at his wrist, and the frill sewed to his waistcoat, were 
the only linen about him. His body was rather bent, but till 
he was near his end, his pace was firm, and he was seen walk- 
ing in this manner from his house to Hythe or back, or, which 
was more gratifying to his friends, when they first caught a 
view of the house, walking up and down the pavement before 
his door. "How can this man be a lord?" said the vulgar. 
"Would to God more lords were like this man !" said the man 
of sense. "I wish we were all as attentive to good breeding !" 
said the man of fashion. 

From the time of his succession to the title to the day of his 
death, Lord Eokeby seldom went farther from home than 
Hythe ; but he would have thought that he had forfeited all 
regard to his principles if he had not gone to Maidstone to vote 


for his friend, Filmer Honeywood, the staunch advocate for the 
independence of the county ; and a contested election for the 
city of Canterbury drew Trim again from his retirement. This 
election took place just after the famous stoppage of the Bank ; 
and after a visit to his friends at the hall, and shouts of con- 
gratulation from all the freemen, he -walked to the alderman's 
house, with whom the wager had been laid, proffered some 
notes for cash, presented the written agreement on the wager, 
and demanded of the alderman the sum of ten pounds. 

The question, as might naturally be expected, staggered a 
little the alderman, who was also a banker, and as the words 
admitted of some debate, and Lord R. had not with him docu- 
ments of the refusal at the Bank of cash for a ten-pound note 
specifically proffered, the payment was therefore deferred. 

On returning to the hall, Lord E. came again on the hus- 
tings, by the side which is appropriated for the persons to 
return who have voted, and for the infirm, and the friends of 
the candidates, or the officers of the court. The sheriff very 
politely offered to take here his lordship's vote, who, with his 
usual good humour, declined it • "I am not so old neither," 
says he, " that I cannot do like the rest of my brother citizens," 
and instantly went down the stairs, where he met an old man 
ascending, who had given him a vote nearly fifty years before ; 
mixed with his brother citizens, went up the proper stairs with 
them, and gave the last proof of his political connexion with 
Canterbury in a manner worthy of himself and his principles. 

We might recount a variety of anecdotes expressive of his 
character, but the limits will not permit us ; yet we must not 
pass over the subject of his food, which has been so much the 
object of inquiry and misrepresentation. He has been said to 
live on raw flesh, and to be, in short, little better than a canni- 
bal. This was by no means the case ; and to understand this, 
as well as the other parts of his character, we must look to his 
leading principles, nature and independence. He thought that 
this island produced within itself sufficient food for his nour- 
ishment. Wheat he considered as an exotic, besides it was fer- 
mented, two reasons sufficient to expel it from his nourishment. 


Foreign coffee, for the same reason, was rejected, and he tried 
various experiments with burnt beans, peas, &c. Kemarkably 
fond of sweet things, he used honey as a substitute for sugar ; 
but it is to be observed that he was not a scrupulous observer 
of his general rule, and when it was hinted to him that he was 
eating the crust of a pie, or similar things in the ordinary 
cookery, he turned it off with a good-humoured laugh, adding, 
" Where is the man that lives as he preaches ?" His appetite 
was remarkably strong, which he satisfied at times by boiled 
beef, or rather beef kept for a considerable time in boiling 
water ; and his table was amply provided with everything in 
season, exceedingly well dressed, and of which he partook off a 
wooden platter like any other person. He drank no wine, and 
he gave the best proofs of the excellence of his diet by the 
leng^i of his life. No one was more hospitable to his guests, 
they were desired to order just what they pleased, and, in re- 
turn, were requested and expected to permit the host to eat 
what and when he pleased. 

He never willingly omitted bathing a single day, and had 
made,, for that purpose, a bathing-house of considerable length 
and breadth, glazed in front to a south-eastern aspect, and 
thatched at top. This probably is the most comfortable bath- 
house in England, as, after bathing, you may run up and down 
to dry yourself, and do not feel that disagreeable cold common 
in the small elegant bath-houses of marble, where you freeze in 
cold magnificence. Lord R's. bath-house was boarded and 
matted. In this bath-house and a wood at a small distance 
from it, intersected with walks, and at proper intervals having 
wooden seats and benches, his lordship spent considerable time, 
frequently committing to paper his valuable reflections. 

A gentleman who happened to be in the neighbourhood of 
Mount Morris, resolved to procure a sight of this extraordinary 
character, after he had succeeded to the title of Lord Eokeby. 
" On my way,'' says he, " at the summit of the hill above 
Hythe,- which affords a most delightful prospect, I perceived a 
fountain of pure water, over-running a bason which had been 
placed for it by his lordship. I was informed, that there were 


many such on the same road, and that he was accustomed to 
bestow a few half-crown pieces, plenty of which he always kept 
loose in a side-pocket, on any water drinkers he might happen 
to find partaking of his favourite beverage, which he never 
failed to recommend with peculiar force and persuasion. On 
my approach, I stopped some time to examine the mansion. It 
it a good, plain, gentleman's seat ; the grounds were abundantly 
stocked with black cattle, and I could perceive a horse or two 
on the steps of the principal entrance. After the necessary 
enquiries, I was conducted by a servant to a little grove, on 
entering which, a building with a glass covering, that at first 
sight appeared to be a green house, presented itself. The man 
who accompanied me opened a little wicket, and on looking in, 
I perceived, immediately under the glass, a bath with a current 
of water, supplied from a pond behind. On approaching the 
door, two handsome spaniels, with long ears, apparently of 
King Charles's breed, advanced, and, like faithful guardians, 
denied us access, till soothed by the well-known accents of the 
domestic. We then proceeded, and gently passing along a 
wooden floor, saw his lordship stretched on his face at the 
farther end. He had just come out of the water, and was 
dressed in an old blue woollen coat, and pantaloons of the same 
colour. The upper part of his head was bald, but the hair of 
his chin, which could not be concealed even by the posture he 
had assumed, made its appearance between his arms on each 
side. I immediately retired, and waited at a little distance 
until he awoke; when rising, he opened the door, darted 
through the thicket, accompanied by his dogs, and made 
directly for the house, while some workmen employed in cut- 
ting timber, and whose tongues only I had heard before, now 
made the woods resound again with their axes." 

Prince William of Gloucester, once passing through Canter- 
bury, felt a strong inclination to pay his lordship a visit; 
which being mentioned at Mount Morris, Lord Eokeby very 
politely sent the prince an invitation to dinner. On this occa- 
sion he presided at a plentiful board, and displayed all the hos- 
pitality of an old English baron. Three courses were served up 


in a splendid style to his royal highness and his suite, and the 
repast concluded with a variety of excellent wines, and in par- 
ticular Tokay, which had been in the cellar half a century. 

His memory was prodigious. In conversation, if anything 
occurred which afforded room for difference of opinion, he 
would frequently run on the sudden to his library, bring back 
a folio or two, and point the passage on which the whole de- 
pended. He was a great reader as well as a deep thinker, and 
preserved the use of his eyes to the last : for writing, he very 
frequently availed himself of the help of an amanuensis. In so 
singular a character, it is natural that persons little acquainted 
with it should make very erroneous conjectures. Covetousness 
was represented to be his prevailing feature, but this was not 
perceptible in his domestic arrangements, where, in every 
article, of good living there was superfluity, and his parlour 
fires of wood and coal, which would be sufficient for half a 
dozen common rooms, did not countenance the idea of a 
frugal disposition ; besides, his conduct to his tenants (for 
there was nowhere to be found a milder landlord, and, per- 
haps, indeed, he carried this propensity to indulge them to 
almost blameable excess), is a sufficient proof that his thoughts 
were not bent with any degree of anxiety on the acquisition of 
wealth. Yet he was tenacious of his property when it had 
once come into his hands ; and he made a joke himself of his 
fondness for a new guinea ; but this may be accounted for from 
his idea of the nature of paper-credit, and the firmness of our 
bank ; and the quantity of money found in his house at his 
death was the natural result of these opinions. He was an 
excellent master, and a good neighbour; just in all his deal- 
ings, of strict honour, firmly attached to the liberty of his 
country, of a most enlarged mind, a true free-thinker, and, 
with all the singularities in his dress and manners, he united 
to his love of nature and independence all the good qualities 
which constitute a perfect gentleman. 

From what has been already said, it appears that, inde- 
pendent of his beard, which reached to his waist, Lord Eokeby 
was a very singular character. He lived a considerable portion 


of his life in water, tempered by the rays of the sun, and tra- 
velled on foot at an age when people of his rank and fortune 
always indulge in a carriage. In the midst of a luxurious age 
he was abstemious both in eating and drinking, and attained 
to length of life without having recourse to the aid of medi- 
cine, and indeed with an utter contempt for the practitioners 
of physic. This he carried to such a length, that it is related, 
when a paroxysm was expected to come on, his lordship told 
his nephew that if he stayed he was welcome ; but if, out of a 
false humanity, he should call in medical assistance, and it 
should accidentally happen that he was not killed by the doc- 
tor, he hoped he should have sufficient use of his hands and 
senses left to make a new will, and to disinherit him. 

This truly patriotic nobleman expired at his seat in Kent, in 
the month of December, 1800, in the eighty-eighth year of his 

Foster Powell, 

The Astonishing Pedestrian. 

T^HIS celebrated pedestrian was born in 1734, at Horseforth, 
*■ near Leeds, in Yorkshire. In 1762, he came to London 
and articled himself to an attorney in the Temple. After the 
expiration of his clerkship he remained with his uncle, Mr. 
Powell, of the New Inn, and when he died, engaged himself 
with a Mr. Stokes, and after his decease with a Mr. Bingley, 
both of the same place. 

Before his engagement with Stokes, he undertook, in the 
year 1764, not for any wager, to walk fifty miles on the Bath 
road in seven hours, which he accomplished in the time, having 
gone the first ten miles in one hour, although encumbered with 
a great coat and leather breeches. 

He visited several parts of Switzerland and France, and 
gained much praise there for his pedestrianism ; but in the 

^jU y e^^3^7t^^^Mt&-/?va^ 7 


year 1773, he walked from London to York and back again, a 
distance of 400 miles, in five days and eighteen hours : this 
was his first match for a wager. 

In November, 1778, Powell attempted to run two miles in 
ten minutes, for a wager; he started from Lea Bridge, and lost 
it only by half a minute. 

In 1786, he undertook to walk 100 miles on the Bath road, 
in twenty-four hours — 50 miles out and 50 miles in. He com- 
pleted this journey three-quarters of an hour within the time 
agreed on. ' 

In 1787, he undertook to walk from Canterbury to London 
Bridge and back again, in twenty-four hours, the distance being 
twelve miles more than his former journey ; this he accom- 
plished to the great astonishment of thousands of anxious 
spectators, who were assembled to witness the completion of 
his task. 

The following year, 1788, he engaged to go his favourite 
journey from London to York and back again in six days, 
which he executed in five days and twenty hours. After this 
he did not undertake any journey till the year 1790, when he 
set off to walk from London to York, and back again in six 
days, but which he accomplished in five days and eighteen 

In 1792, he determined to repeat his journey to York and 
back again, for the last time of his life, and convince the world 
he could do it in a shorter time than ever he had, though now 
at the advanced age of fifty-eight years. Accordingly he set 
out from Shoreditch Church to York Minster, and back again, 
which he completed in five days fifteen hours and one quarter. 
On his return he was saluted with the loud huzzas of the 
astonished and anxious spectators. 

In the same year he walked, for a bet of twenty guineas, six 
miles in fifty-five minutes and a half on the Clapham Eoad. 
Shortly afterwards he went down to Brighthelmstone, and en- 
gaged to walk one mile and run another in fifteen minutes ; 
he walked the mile in nine minutes and twenty seconds, and 
ran the other mile in five minutes and twenty-three seconds, 


by which he was seventeen seconds less than the time allowed 

Previous to thi3 he undertook a journey to Canterbury, but, 
by unfortunately mistaking the road from Blackheath to Lon- 
don, he unavoidably lost the wager ; yet he gained more money 
by this accident than all the journeys he accomplished ; for his 
friends, feeling for the great disappointment he experienced, 
made a subscription, and collected for him a good present. 

Powell despised wealth, and notwithstanding his many op- 
portunites of acquiring money, ten pounds was the largest sum 
he ever made, which was at the time of the before-mentioned 
subscription, He was always content with a little for himself, 
and happy in winning much for others. He seems to have 
considered his wonderful agility as a circumstance from which 
he derived great glory. 

In person he was tall and thin, about five feet nine inches 
high, very strong downwards, well calculated for walking, and 
rather of a sallow complexion ; in disposition he was mild and 
gentle, and possessed many valuable qualifications. In diet he 
was somewhat particular, as he preferred light food ; he ab- 
stained from liquor, but on his journey made use of brandy; 
and when travelling, the delay he met with at the inns, for he 
had particular hours for taking refreshment, often chagrined 
him. No wonder, indeed, if, on this account, he had often lost 
his wagers. He allowed himself but five hours rest, which took 
place from eleven o'clock at night. 

In 1793, he was suddenly taken ill, and died on the 15th of 
April, at his apartments in New Inn, in rather indigent cir- 
cumstances, for, notwithstanding his wonderful feats, and the 
means he had of attaining wealth, poverty was the constant 
companion of his travels through life, even to the hour of his 
death. The faculty attributed the cause of his sudden disso- 
lution to the great exertions of his last journey to York, for 
being determined to complete it in less time than ever, he 
probably exceeded and forced his strength. In the afternoon 
of the 22nd, his remains were brought, according to his own 
request, to the burying ground of St. Faith, St. Paul's Church- 

IT ® IB W 

^>^A' v;^> Jw^^^/vnAoit far 


yard. The funeral was characteristically a walking one, from 
New Inn, through Fleet Street, and up Ludgate Hill. The 
followers were twenty, on foot, in black gowns, and after them 
came three mourning coaches. The attendants were all men of 
respectability ; the ceremony was conducted with much decency, 
and a very great concourse of people attended. He was buried 
nearly under the only tree in the church-yard. His age, which 
was fifty-nine years, was inscribed on his coffin. 


A Begging Impostor. 

THIS impostor, whose real name is unknown, frequented 
the streets of London in the early part of the present 
century, and lived upon the credulity of the too charitable 
metropolis, in which place he was only known by the familiar 
appellation of Toby. He was a negro, and during a passage 
from Bermuda to Memel, while on board a merchantman, lost 
all his toes ; this accident was, however, of great service, by 
rendering him an object of pity and compassion, during his 
daily perambulations. 

The use of his own language was also of great help to him, 
in fixing the attention of passengers, and a great inducement 
to many to extend their charity to this apparently distressed 
stranger ; indeed, he left no method untried to work upon the 
various dispositions of those he supplicated. Very often he 
would preach to the spectators gathered round him, and some- 
times would amuse another sort of auditors with a song ; and 
when begging, he always appeared almost bent double, as if 
with excessive pain and fatigue. But when his day's business 
was done, he laid aside all constraint and walked upright; 
and at the beggars' meeting there was not a more jovial mem- 
ber than he. From these midnight revels he adjourned to a 
miserable lodging, from which in the morning he again sallied 


forth in quest of those credulous persons, who will ever be 
found in so extensive a metropolis as London. 

In this way passed many years of the life of Toby, until the 
indiscriminating hand of death snatched him. from a state 
which he had so long abused and degraded. 

Joseph Boruwlaski, 

The Polish Dwarf. 

A STRIKING- proof, if any were wanted, that the modifi- 
■**■ cations of human nature are dependent on circum- 
stances which have hitherto eluded all investigation, is afforded 
by the celebrated dwarf, Boruwlaski. To soundness of under- 
standing, quickness of apprehension, and solidity of judgment, ■ 
Boruwlaski united that fascinating ease and elegance of deport- 
ment which can only be acquired by intercourse with the highest 
classes of polished society, an advantage which his uncommonly 
diminutive size, during the whole course of his life, never 
failed to procure him. 

Joseph Boruwlaski, commonly called Count Boruwlaski, was 
born in the vicinity of Chaliez, in Polish Bussia, in November, 
1739. His parents were of the middling size," and had a family 
of six children, five sons and one daughter. In consequence 
of one of those freaks of Nature for which it is impossible to 
account, three of the sons, when full grown, exceeded the 
middle stature, while the other two, and the daughter, only 
attained that of children at the age of four or five years. The 
eldest son, born in 1728, reached the height of three feet six 
inches : he possessed a healthy constitution, and uncommon 
strength and vigour for his size. Having lived a long time 
with the Castellane Inowloska, his conduct was such as to gain 
her esteem, and finding that his ability and good sense were 
not inferior to his integrity, she at length intrusted him with 
the stewardship and management of her affairs. The second 


Engrave cLisy R. Cooper. . 


son was of a weak and delicate frame : he died at the age of 
twenty-six, being at that time five feet ten inches high. Joseph 
was the third child, and those that came after him were alter- 
nately tall and short. His sister died of the small-pox at 
twenty-two, when she was no more than two feet two inches in 

At the moment of Joseph's birth, there was every reason to 
believe that he would be extremely short, as he measured only 
eight inches. Notwithstanding his diminutive size, he was 
neither weak nor puny: on the contrary, his mother, who 
suckled bim herself, frequently declared that none of her chil- 
dren gave her less trouble. He walked, and was able to speak, 
at about the same age as other infants, and his progressive 
growth was as follows : at one year, fourteen inches ; at six, 
seventeen inches ; at ten, twenty-one inches ; at fifteen, twenty- 
five inches ; at twenty, twenty-eight inches ; at twenty-five, 
thirty-five inches ; at thirty, thirty-nine inches.- At this size 
he remained fixed, without having since increased one-eighth 
of an inch. Some naturalists have maintained that dwarfs 
continue to grow during the whole of their lives, but the false- 
hood of this assertion is proved by the example of Joseph 
Boruwlaski and that of his brother, who both grew till the age 
of thirty, and then ceased to increase in stature. 

The young Boruwlaski had scarcely entered his eighth year, 
when his father died, leaving his widow with six children, and 
a very small portion of the favours of fortune. v Before this 
event the Starostina de Caorlitz, a female friend of Madame 
Boruwlaski, had often manifested great affection for Joseph, 
and solicited his parents to commit his education to her care. 
She now availed herself of the embarrassed circumstances of 
the family to repeat her offers to his mother, who, consulting 
only the happiness of her child, consented with pain to the 

The lady accordingly took him to her estate, which was not 
far distant from the residence of his mother. For four years 
she fulfilled with scrupulous fidelity the charge she had under- 
taken ; the conduct of the protegS was such as to secure her 


attachment, and he appeared to be fixed with her for ever, 
when an unexpected circumstance changed his situation. His 
patroness, a lady of large fortune, was a widow, who, though 
not young, still possessed a considerable portion of personal 
charms. The Count de Tarnow, whose affairs had brought 
him into the neighbourhood, paid his addresses to her, and 
prevailed upon her to give him her hand. A few months after 
their marriage, the Countess de Tarnow imagined herself preg- 
nant. On this occasion the happy couple received the congra- 
tulations of all their friends, and, amongst the rest, of the 
Countess Humieska. That lady, 'distinguished for her birth, 
her wealth, and personal accomplishments, had an estate con- 
tiguous to that of the Starostina, at whose house she had fre- 
quently seen the young Boruwlaski, and had often declared 
how delighted she should be to take him with her to Warsaw. 
Being one day with the Count and Countess de Tarnow, she 
took an opportunity of turning the conversation to the dangers 
to which pregnant females are exposed, and asked the Count 
whether he was not under some apprehensions for his lady, 
from Boruwlaski being continually in her sight, and whether 
he was not afraid lest this circumstance might affect the child 
of which she was pregnant. Perceiving that what she said 
made a considerable impression, she adduced a great number 
of facts calculated to increase their uneasiness. She concluded 
with advising them to part with their little friend, offering, at 
the same time, to take liim under her protection, and promising 
that she would endeavour to make him happy. Whether this 
advice was given with sincerity, or was the result of the Coun- 
tess's desire to have Boruwlaski about her person, it is impos- 
sible to decide. It produced, however, the effect she wished, 
and, with his consent, he was transferred by his former bene- 
factors to the Countess Humieska. 

With her he departed in a few days for her estate at Rychty, 
in Pondolia, where they stayed six months. Having formed a 
design of making the tour of Germany and France, the Coun- 
tess resolved to make him the companion of her travels, and 
after some necessary preparations, he set out with her at the 


age of fifteen for Vienna. Here he had the honour of being 
presented to the empress-queen, Maria Theresa, who was 
pleased to say, that he far exceeded all the accounts she had 
heard of him, and that he was one ot the most astonishing 
beings she had ever beheld. That great princess was at this 
period at war with the King of Prussia, and Boruwlaski being 
one day in her apartment when her courtiers were compli- 
menting her on a victory obtained by her army, the empress 
asked him his opinion of the Prussian monarch. " Madam," 
replied he, "I have not the honour to know him; but were I 
in his place, instead of waging an useless war against you, I 
would come to Vienna, and pay my respects to you, deeming 
it a thousand times more glorious to gain your esteem and 
friendship, than to obtain the most complete victories over your 
troops." Her majesty, who seemed highly delighted at this 
reply, caught Boruwlaski in her arms, and told his patroness 
that she thought her very happy in having such a pleasing 
companion in her travels. 

On another occasion, when, according to her desire, he had 
performed a Polish dance in the presence of this sovereign, sho 
took him on her lap, caressed him, and asked him, among 
many other questions, what he thought most curious and in- 
teresting at Vienna. He answered, that he had seen in that 
city many things worthy of a traveller's admiration, but no- 
thing seemed so extraordinary as what he at that moment 
beheld. "And what is that?" inquired her majesty. "To 
see so little a man on the lap of so great a woman," replied 
Boruwlaski. This answer procured him fresh caresses. The 
empress wore a ring, on which was her cipher in brilliants, of 
the most exquisite workmanship. His hand being accidentally 
in hers, he seemed to be looking attentively at the ring, which ~ 
she perceiving, asked whether the cipher was pretty. " I beg 
your majesty's pardon," replied Boruwlaski, " it is not the ring 
that I am looking at, but the hand, which I beseech your per- 
mission to kiss." With these words he raised it to his Hps. 
The empress seemed highly pleased at this little specimen of 
gallantry, and would have presented him with the ring which 



gave occasion to it, but as' it was much too large, she called a 
young lady, five or six years old, who was then in the apart- 
ment, and taking a very fine diamond from her finger, put it 
on Boruwlaski's. This young lady was the unfortunate Maria 
Antoinette, afterwards Queen of France; and, as may be 
easily imagined, Boruwlaski has preserved this jewel with reli- 
gious care. 

The kind notice of the empress procured him the attention 
of her whole court, and the marked kindness of Prince Kaunitz 
was particularly grateful to his feelings. So far, however, from 
being seduced by the favours bestowed on him, or the pleasures 
procured him, Boruwlaski was sometimes oppressed by sensa- 
tions of the most painful kind, conscious that he was only 
looked upon by others as a puppet, a little more perfect, it is 
true, and better organised than they commonly are, but at any 
rate, as nothing better than an animated toy. 

During a residence of six months at Vienna, the Countess 
Humieska availed herself of the opportunity to have her little 
charge instructed in dancing by M. Angelini, the ballet-master 
to the court, who afterwards obtained such celebrity by his 
extraordinary professional talents and his taste for literature. 
Though Boruwlaski had not time to improve himself as much 
as he wished, yet his benefactress could not forbear testifying 
her satisfaction at the progress he had made. 

From the Austrian metropolis the travellers proceeded to 
Munich, where they were most graciously received by the 
Elector of Bavaria, and where the Countess's little companion 
excited no less curiosity than he had done at Vienna. They 
next repaired to Luneville, at that time the residence of Stanis- 
laus Leczinski, the dethroned King of Poland, who, as a com- 
pensation for the Polish crown, had been put in possession of 
the Dukedoms of Lorraine and Bar. 

By this venerable monarch, the travellers were received with 
his accustomed bounty and affability, and being of his own 
country, they were, by his order, lodged in his palace. With 
this prince lived the famous Bebe, who was till then considered 
the most extraordinary dwarf that was ever seen. 


From Luneville Boruwlaski proceeded with his benefactress 
to the gay metropolis of Franoe, where they were received in 
the most flattering manner by the queen, herself a native of 
Poland and daughter of King Stanislaus. At this time Count 
Oginski, grand general of Lithuania, resided at Paris, and 
showed particular regard for Boruwlaski. He even carried his 
complaisance so far as to teach him the rudiments of music, 
and conceiving that his pupil had a taste for that art, he pre- 
vailed on the Countess Humieska to engage for his master the 
celebrated Gavinies, who taught him to play on the guitar, an 
amusement which has since often solaced him. in moments of 
trouble and inquietude. 

Count Oginski took a great pleasure in having his little 
countryman near him. One day when he gave a grand enter- 
tainment to severaHadies of high distinction, he put Boruwlaski 
into an urn placed on the middle of the table. He said that 
he would treat them with an extraordinary dish, but forbearing 
for a considerable time to uncover the urn, the curiosity of the 
company was excited to the highest pitch. At length the 
cover was removed, and out sprung Boruwlaski to the no small 
astonishment and diversion of the ladies, who did not at first 
know him. 

Our travellers passed more than a year at Paris, in all the 
pleasures which that capital afforded. They were visited and 
entertained by all the principal nobility and persons of opulence. 
Among the rest, M. Bouret, the farmer-general, so renowned 
for his ambition, his excesses, and his extravagancies, gave an 
entertainment, and to show that it was in honour of Boruwlaski, 
he caused every thing, even the plate, the knives, forks, and 
spoons, to be proportioned to his size. The ortolans, becaficos, 
and other small game of that kind, of which the entertainment 
entirely consisted, were served up on dishes adapted to their 

Having first exchanged the frivolous levity of France for the 
phlegmatic sedateness of Holland, the Countess Humieska re- 
turned with her little companion through Germany to "Warsaw. 
He was preceded in that capital by the reputation he had ac- 



quired at Paris no small portion of that graceful ease and 
politeness, which give such charms to the most common things; 
he had the satisfaction of finding that his company was courted, 
not merely as an object of curiosity, but for the pleasure of his 

Boruwlaski had now attained the age of twenty-five ; he 
began to feel new emotions, which are in general experienced 
at a much earlier period of life. Love did not disdain the con- 
quest of his little heart : he became enamoured of an actress, 
belonging to the company of French comedians at Warsaw. 
Having procured an introduction to his mistress, he mustered 
sufficient courage to declare his passion, and for some time was 
happy in the belief that she cherished similar sentiments to- 
wards him. He devoted to her every moment that he could 
with decency steal from the duty imposed upon him by the 
bounty of his benefactress, making his little excursions when 
he was supposed to be asleep, for which purpose he was obliged 
to bribe the porter and the servant by whom he was attended. 
This intrigue, however, was not of long continuance ; he soon 
found that it was a subject of public notoriety, that his charmer, 
whom he thought most interested in secrecy, openly laughed 
at his passion, and the tumultuous emotions she had excited in 
his bosom. This discovery completely overwhelmed him, by 
humbling his pride ; he loved sincerely, and imagined that he 
was sincerely beloved, and it was not without extreme mortifi- • 
cation that he now saw the illusion dispelled. 

But this was not the only source of pain arising from his 
indiscretion. His patroness being made acquainted with his 
intrigue, discharged from her service the porter and the servant 
through whose means he had been enabled to carry it on, and 
even withdrew her favour from him, till by the regularity of 
his conduct he regained her kindness. 

Soon after the accession of Stanislaus II. to the throne of 
Poland, Boruwlaski had the honour to be presented to his 
majesty, who took great notice of him, bestowed on him the 
most unequivocal marks of his bounty, and honoured him for 


many years after he had quitted his native country with his 
particular protection. 

About this time Boruwlaski lost his sister Anastasia. She 
was seven years younger than himself, and so short that she 
could stand under his arm. If she was remarkable for the 
smallness of her person, and the perfectly regular proportion 
of her shape, she was still more distinguished by the qualities 
of her heart, and the gentleness of her disposition. The Cas- 
tellane Kaminska, a very rich lady, who had taken her into 
her house, expressed for her the most unbounded tenderness, 
and Anastasia availed herself of this ascendency to gratify the 
generous feelings of her heart. At twenty, Anastasia was in 
love ; and with so much the more passion, as her attachment 
was grounded only on the pleasure of contributing to the hap- 
piness of its object. Her inclination was soon perceived by 
her benefactress, who challenged her with it ; and her inge- 
nuous and feeling heart was far from concealing the sentiments 
with which a young officer, who frequented the house, had in- 
spired her. Though of a good family, he was not rich ; this 
Anastasia knew, and endeavouring to find means to serve him 
without hurting his delicacy, she contrived to engage him to 
play at piquet with her, and generally obliging him to 
play deep, she always took care to lose, and thus joined the 
pleasure of doing good to that of avoiding the expression of his 
gratitude. It is impossible to say how far her sensibility would 
have carried her, had she not been seized with the small-pox 
during an excursion to Leopoldstadt. The disease baffled all 
the powers of art, and in two days she expired with the utmost 
tranquillity and composure. This event made such a deep im- 
pression on her patroness, that for many days her health was 
in danger; she would not suffer the name of her dear Anastasia 
to be mentioned, nor her brother to visit her, lest his presence 
should revive her affliction. 

Boruwlaski continued, meanwhile, to bask in the sunshine of 
the Countess Humieska's favour, through whose means he en- 
joyed universal consideration and regard. But, at the age of 
forty, love again interposed to disturb his happiness. His 


patroness had taken into the house, as a companion, a young 
lady named Isalina Barboutan, descended from French parents 
settled at Warsaw. Her beauty, her sparkling eyes, and the 
elegance of her shape, made, at first sight, an indelible impres- 
sion on his heart. Long -was this fair one deaf to all the pro- 
testations of his passion, which naturally enough she treated 
with ridicule. Undaunted by every repulse, he still pressed 
his suit with all the ardour of an intoxicated lover. No sooner 
was the Countess Humieska informed of his sentiments, than 
she remonstrated with him, in the hope of bringing him to 
reason, but as he paid no attention to her arguments, she 
directed him to be confined in his own apartment. This was 
but the prelude to greater severity, for finding that he continued 
obstinate in his resolution, she ordered him to leave her house, 
with the injunction never to return, and sent Isalina home to 
her parents. 

Turned adrift in the world, without money, or resource of 
any kind, Boruwlaski was at first under no small embarrass- 
ment how to proceed. He soon conceived the idea of applying 
to the king's brother, Prince Casimir, who had always taken a 
particular interest in his affairs. The prince, feeling for his 
situation, recommended him so strongly to the king, that his 
majesty promised to make a provision for him. 

The little lover still continued his unremitting addresses to 
the object of his passion, who at length consented to make him 
happy. It is not improbable that her acquiescence was in a 
great measure determined by the prospect of the royal favour, as 
well as by the apprehension that she should never have a better 
offer, since their amour had become the public talk of the city. 
Be this as it may, the king approved the match, and settled an 
annuity of one hundred ducats on the happy Boruwlaski. 

It was not long before he found that the king's favours 
would scarcely be sufficient for the support of himself and his 
wife, who, to the great astonishment of all, apprised him, within 
six weeks after their marriage, that he was destined to be a 
father. This intelligence only served to increase his anxiety 
relative to their future subsistence. It was absolutely neces- 


sary to take some step to improve his finances, and his patrons 
suggested that a second visit to the courts of Europe could not 
fail of answering the purpose, and of procuring him the means 
of leading, on his return, a life of ease and tranquillity. 
Seduced by such a dazzling prospect, he immediately adopted 
the idea ; the king supplied him with a convenient carriage, 
and being provided with letters of recommendation, he left 
Warsaw on the 21st of November, 1780. 

At Cracow his wife was taken ill. This circumstance 
obliged them to continue some time in that city, where, after a 
long indisposition, she was delivered of her first child, a girl. 
On her recovery they set out for Vienna, where they arrived 
on the 11th of February, 1781. Unfortunately for Boruwlaski, 
death had just snatched away his illustrious patroness, Maria 
Theresa, and profound sorrow pervaded the whole city. Ha 
experienced, however, the same marks of benevolence from 
Prince Kaunitz as on his former visit, and became acquainted 
with the British ambassador, Sir Bobert Murray Keith, who 
was the principal cause of his subsequent voyage to England. 
After giving a concert, which was attended by almost all the 
nobility of Vienna, he left that metropolis, provided with letters 
of recommendation to many princes of Germany. 

The next place he visited was Presburg, the capital of Hun- 
gary, whence he proceeded to Linz. Here he gave a concert, 
for which Count Thierheim, governor of Lower Austria, and 
son-in-law to Prince Kaunitz, hint his band of musicians. 
During the performance, the young Countess, then between six 
and seven years of age, never took her eyes off Boruwlaski, and 
when it was over, she ran to her father, earnestly entreating 
him to buy the little man for her. " But what would you' do 
with him, my dear 1" said the Count. " Besides,'' added he, 
" we have no apartment for him." — " Never mind that, papa," 
replied the child with the greatest simplicity, " I will keep him 
in mine ; I will take the utmost care of him, having the plea- 
sure of dressing and adorning him, and of loading him with 
caresses and dainties." 

After visiting Teschen, Munich, and other places, where he 


was treated in a very flattering manner, by the most distin- 
guished personages, he proceeded to Triersdorff, the residence 
of the Margrave of Anspach, where his reception exceeded 
everything he had yet experienced. Through the recommend- 
ation of the celebrated French actress, Mademoiselle Clairon, 
the Margrave was so strongly interested in his behalf, that he 
loaded him with favours, and even undertook to provide for his 
infant daughter, whom he prevailed upon the parents to leave 
behind in his care. 

On his departure from Triersdorff, Boruwlaski passed rapidly 
through Frankfort, Mentz, and Manheim, to Strasburg, and 
then directing his course to Brussels and Ostend, embarked for 
England. After a tempestuous passage of four days, during 
which the vessel lost her masts and sails, he landed with his 
wife at Margate, and after a few days, set out for London, 
where he arrived without accident. 

He had brought with him a number of recommendatory 
letters to many of the first nobility, and immediately made use 
of those directed to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. In 
those illustrious characters, the little stranger found the most 
zealous protectors. As he was ignorant of the language, and 
from that circumstance could scarcely provide for his wants, 
the Duchess gave orders that a comfortable lodging should be 
procured him at her expense, and being informed that his wife 
was ill, she sent Dr. Walker to attend her. The first visit of 
that gentleman was rather diverting. The Duchess had not 
apprized him what kind of man it was whose wife she " had 
desired him to attend, and on entering the apartment, he took 
Boruwlaski for a child. He approached the patient's bed, and 
inquired into her case, on which Boruwlaski began to thank 
him, and to recommend his wife to his care. As the tone of 
the voice was so much above the stature of the person before 
him, he was at loss to conceive whence the words addressed 
to him proceeded. Perceiving the doctor's embarrassment, 
Madame Boruwlaski informed him who it was; but he could not 
be persuaded that such a diminutive being was a man, or that 
he was capable of uttering such sounds as he had just heard. 


A short time after the arrival of Boruwlaski in London, a 
stupendous giant likewise visited that metropolis. He was 
eight feet three or four inches high. Many persons being de- 
sirous of seeing them together, the Duke and Duchess of De- 
vonshire, accompanied by Lady Spencer, one day took Boruw- 
laski with them to see the giant. Their surprise was equal ; 
the giant remained some time in silence, viewing the dwarf 
with looks of astonishment, and then stooping very low to 
present him his hand, which would have contained a dozen of 
the little visitor's, he made him a very polite compliment. 
Had a painter been present, the contrast of their figures might 
have furnished him with the idea of an interesting picture, for 
Boruwlaski's head was nearly on a level with the giant's knee. 

It was not long before Boruwlaski was introduced to most of 
the first characters in London, and among the rest, to the 
Prince of "Wales, afterwards George the Fourth, by whom he 
was treated with the greatest affability. He had soon after- 
wards the honour of being introduced by the Countess of 
Egremont to the notice of George the Third, his Queen, and 
all the junior branches of the royal family, on the 23rd of 
May, 1782. 

All the favours of his patrons were not, however, adequate 
to the decent support of himself and his family, so that he 
was obliged to have recourse not only to the expedient of sub- 
scription concerts, but likewise to that of an exhibition, first at 
a guinea, then at five shillings, and afterwards at half-a-crown. 
It was not without considerable difficulty that he became re- 
conciled to the idea of making an exhibition of himself, but 
as the matter in question was nothing less than providing a 
subsistence for those who were dearest to his heart, this con- 
sideration counterbalanced every other. In short, he was 
obliged to avail himself of every resource, as he found it im- 
possible, with the utmost economy, to reduce his expenses to 
less than four or five hundred a year. 

At the beginning of the winter of 1782, he visited Bath, 
where he gave breakfasts and concerts. In 1783, he went to 
Ireland, where he was particularly patronized by the Lord 


Lieutenant and his lady, and by the Duke of Leinster. Of 
that amiable nobleman, BoruwlasM often related the following 
anecdote of a circumstance to which he was himself an eye- 
witness. The duke passing on horseback through Dame Street; 
au unlucky servant, whose foot had slipped as he was getting 
behind a coach, fell between the hind- wheel and the body of 
the carriage. Fortunately for the man, the duke was at that 
instant near the carriage ; he alighted, flew to the horses, and 
extricated the poor fellow, whom another turn of the wheel 
would have crushed to death. 

In Ireland, Boruwlaski was detained longer than he had in* 
tended by the illness of his wife, who was brought to bed in 
that* country of her second child. 

On his return to England he passed through Liverpool, Man- 
chester, and Birmingham, to Oxford, where he resided a con- 
siderable time. At length, after an absence of three years, he 
returned to London in March, 1786. 

Here he resumed his former system of concerts and exMhi- 
bitions, but neither could prevent his being involved in diffi- 
culties, from which he was generously relieved by his country- 
woman, the Princess Lubomirska, who hearing that he was ex- 
posed to the vexations of creditors, inquired the amount of Ms 
debts, and nobly discharged them. His mind being now re- 
lieved from anxiety, he, at the request of his friends, began to 
write the history of his life, which undertaking was patronized 
by the Prince of Wales, and a long list of nobility. It forms 
an octavo volume, and was published in 1788. 

An erroneous report having reached his native country, that 
he had laid out several thousand pounds in the funds, he was 
thought no longer to want the king's favours, and his annuity 
of one hundred ducats was cut off. This circumstance is sup- 
posed to have been the occasion of his leaving England, and 
visiting Poland in the year 1792. 

His absence was not of long duration ; he soon returned to 
this country, where his exhibitions were so successful, that he 
was enabled to save a handsome competence, with which he 
retired to Durham there to spend the remainder of his days. 


Engrave kjoy K. Coop ex."" 


Ann Moore, 

The Fasting Woman. 

THIS impostor, who pretended she -could live without food, 
was born at Royston, otherwise Roslington, near Ash- 
bourne, in the county of Derby, in the year 1761. Her parents 
were poor, of the name of Peg. At the age of twenty-seven she 
married James Moore, a labourer, from whom she soon parted ; 
after which she had two children by her master, a girl and a 

About the beginning of 1807, residing then at Tutbury, a 
village in Staffordshire, she first excited the public attention, 
by declaring she could live without food. An assertion so re- 
pugnant to reason and nature, was of course rejected ■ she 
therefore offered to prove the truth of her statement by sub- 
mitting to be watched for a considerable time. 

In order to satisfy the public, she was removed from her 
home to the house of Mr. Jackson, grocer, of the same village, 
and all the inhabitants were invited to join in watching her. 
A Mr. Taylor, surgeon, superintended the watching, which 
continued sixteen days, during which time she was allowed a 
little water on the three first days. When the watch had 
ended, she was removed to her own house, and Mr. Taylor 
published an account, declaring that she had lived for thirteen 
days without taking any food, liquid or solid. This account, 
so attested, was believed by numbers, who flocked to see her, 
and few visited her without leaving some proof of their credu- 
lity or pity. By this means she collected about £250. 

In order to give additional weight to her case, she professed 
to be very religious : the Bible was laid on her bed, and her con- 
versation was such as led the ignorant to imagine her to be a 
person of extraordinary piety. But this mask was thrown off 
whenever she was pressed too hard by pointed questions from 


those who still doubted. On such occasions she would vent such 
virulent language as would fully evince the absence of any 
religious principle in her. 

As her object appeared to be the acquisition of money, she 
thought proper to assert, that since the time she was watched, 
she had not taken anything whatever. 

Though the declaration of the persons who formerly watched 
her, in addition to her own assertions, had obtained consider- 
able credit, yet there were many who thought her an impostor, 
and demanded that she should be again watched : this for some 
time she refused : at length, most unwillingly she consented ; 
and a committee was formed of the neighbouring magistrates 
and Clergymen. They met on Tuesday, the 20th of Aprd, 
1813. And the length of time which they determined she 
should be watched was one month. This she vehemently re- 
fused to submit to, but as no shorter time would satisfy the 
medical part "of the committee, she at last was obliged to 

Her bed was filled with chaff, and the clothes examined in 
the presence of the committee. The watch entered on their 
office at two o'clock on Wednesday. She received the watchers 
with as much good manners as she was capable of, though she 
had been crying bitterly before they came. 

The first watch, which continued four hours, was begun by 
Sir Oswald Mosley and the Eev. Legh Eichmond, and followed 
by several other gentlemen. At the end of seven days the public 
was informed that she had during that time taken no food 
whatever. Great confidence was now expressed by her advo- 
cates, that she would endure the ordeal with credit. But when 
the machine for weighing her was put under the bed, it was 
found that she lost weight rapidly. At last, on the ninth day, 
she insisted on the watchers quitting the room, declaring that 
she was very ill, and that her daughter must be sent for. She 
was now greatly reduced, and the watchers who attended her 
were much alarmed, lest she should expire, and, apprehensive 
of being implicated in the charge of murder, they quitted the 
room and admitted the daughter. It was thought that she 


could not live two hours longer, but after the watchers had left 
her, and the daughter admitted, and had administered what 
she thought proper, the mother began to recover. 

One remarkable circumstance was, that on Friday, the 30th 
of April, after the watch broke up, she desired to take a solemn 
oath that she had not, during the time she was watched, taken 
any food whatever ; which oath was administered unto her. 
This she did in hope, notwithstanding all, still to impose upon 
the public. But as her clothes gave evidence against her, to 
her utter confusion, she was brought at last to make the fol- 
lowing confession : 

" I, Ann Moore, of Tutbury, humbly asking pardon of all persons 
whom I have attempted to deceive and impose upon, and above all, 
with the most unfeigned sorrow and contrition, imploring the divine 
mercy and forgiveness of that God whom I have greatly offended, do 
most solemnly declare that I have occasionally taken sustenance for 
the last six years. 

" Witness my hand this fourth day of May, 1813. 

" The mark of M Ann Moore. 

"The above declaration of Anne Moore, was made before me, one of 
his Majosty's Justices of the Peace for the county of Stafford. 

" Thomas Lister. 

" "Witness to the above declaration and signature of my mother, 
Ann Moore. Mary Moore." 

This juggler was committed to prison in February, 1816, for 
falsely collecting money under the pretence of charity. Since 
this it is unknown what became of her, and the name of Ann 
Moore is only remembered as that of an impostor of the vilest 


Floram Marehand, 

The Great Water-Spouter. 

IN the summer of 1650, a Frenchman named Floram Mar- 
ehand was brought over from Tours to London, who pro- 
fessed to be able to " turn water into wine, and at his vomit 
render not only the tincture, but the strength and smell of 
several wines, and several waters." He learnt the rudiments 
of this art from Bloise, an Italian, who not long before was 
questioned by Cardinal Mazarin, who threatened him with all 
the miseries that a tedious imprisonment could bring upon him, 
unless he would discover to him by what art he did it. Bloise, 
startled at the sentence, and fearing the event, made a full 
confession on these terms, that the Cardinal would communicate 
it to no one else. 

From this Bloise, Marehand received all his instruction ; and 
finding his teacher the more sought after in France, he came 
by the advice of two English friends to England, where the 
trick was new. Here — the cause of it being utterly unknown 
— he seems for a time to have gulled and astonished the public 
to no small extent, and to his great profit. 

Before long, however, the whole mystery was cleared up by 
his two friends, who had probably not received the share of 
the profits to which they thought themselves entitled. Their 
somewhat circumstantial account runs as follows : — 

" To prepare his body for so hardy a task, before he- makes 
his appearance on the stage, he takes a pill about the quantity 
of a hazel nut, confected with the gall of an heifer, and wheat 
flour baked. After which he drinks privately in his chamber 
four or five pints of luke-warm water, to take all the foulness 
and slime from his stomach, and to avoid that loathsome spec- 
tacle which otherwise would make thick the water, and offend 
the eye of the observer. 

" In the first place he presents you with a pail of lukewarm 
water, and sixteen glasses in a basket, but you are to under- 




stand that every morning he boils two ounces of Brazil thin- 
slioed in three pints of running water, so long till the whole 
Strength and colour of the Brazil is exhausted : of this he drinks 
half a pint in his private chamber before he comes on the stage : 
you are also to understand that he neither eats nor drinks in 
the morning on those days when he comes on the stage, the 
cleansing pill and water only excepted ; but in the evening 
will make a very good supper, and eat as much as two or three 
other men who have not their stomachs so thoroughly purged. 

" Before he presents himself to the spectators, he washes all 
his glasses in the best white-wine vinegar he can procure. 
Coming on the stage, he always washes his first glass, and 
rinses it two or three times, to take away the strength of the 
vinegar, that it may in no wise discolour the complexion of 
what is represented to be wine. 

" At his first entrance, he drinks four and twenty glasses of 
luke-warm water, the first vomit he makes the water seems to 
be a full deep claret : you are to observe that his gall-pill in 
the morning, and so many glasses of luke-warm water after- 
wards, will force him into a sudden capacity to vomit, which 
vomit upon so much warm water, is for the most part so vio- 
lent on him, that he cannot forbear if he would. 

" You are again to understand that all that comes from him 
is red of itself, or has a tincture of it from the first brazil water ; 
but by degrees, the more water he drinks, as on every new 
.trial he drinks as many glasses of water as his stomach will 
contain, the water that comes from him will grow paler and 
paler. Having then made his essay on claret, and proved it to 
be of .the same complexion, he again drinks four or five glasses 
of the luke-warm water, and brings forth claret and beer at 
once into two several glasses : now you are to observe that the 
glass which appears to be claret is rinsed as before, but the 
beer glass not rinsed at all, but is still moist with the white- 
wine vinegar, and the first strength of the Brazil water being 
lost, it makes the water which he vomits up to be of a more 
pale colour, and much like our English beer. 

" He then begins his rouse again, and drinks up fifteen or 


sixteen glasses of luke-warm water, which the pail will plenti- 
fully afford him: he will now bring you up the pale Bur- 
gundian wine, which, though more faint of complexion than 
the claret, he will tell you is the purest wine in Christendom. 
The strength of the Brazil water, which he took immediately 
before his appearance on the stage, grows fainter and fainter. 
This glass, like the first glass in which he brings forth his 
claret, is washed, the better to represent the colour of the wine 

" The next he drinks comes forth sack from him, or accord- 
ing to that complexion. Here he does not wash his glass at 
all ; for the strength of the vinegar must alter what is left of 
the complexion of the Brazil water, which he took in the morn- 
ing before he appeared on the stage. 

" You are always to remember, that in the interim, he will 
commonly drink up four or five glasses of the luke-warm water, 
the better to provoke his stomach to a disgorgement, if the 
first rouse will not serve turn. He will now (for on every dis- 
gorge he will bring you forth a new colour), he will now pre- 
sent you with white wine. Here also he will not wash his 
glass, which (according to the vinegar in which it was washed) 
will give it a colour like it. You are to understand, that when 
he gives you the colour of so many wines, he never washes the 
glass, but at his first evacuation, the strength of the vinegar 
being no wise compatible with the colour of the Brazil water. 

" Having performed this task, he will then give you a show 
of rose-water ; and this indeed, he does so cunningly, that it is 
not the show of rose-water, but rose-water itself. If you ob- 
serve him, you will find that either behind the pail where his 
luke-warm water is, or behind the basket in which his glasses 
are, he will have on purpose a glass of rose-water prepared for 
him. After he has taken it, he will make the spectators be- 
lieve that he drank nothing but the luke-warm water out of 
the pail ; but he saves the rose-water in the glass, and holding 
his hand in an indirect way, the people believe, observing the 
water dropping from his fingers, that it is nothing but the 
water out of the pail. After this he will drink four or five 


glasses more out of the pail, and then comes up the rose-water, 
to the admiration of the beholders. You are to understand, 
that the heat of his body working with his rose-water gives a 
full and fragrant smell to all the water that comes from him as 
if it were the same. 

" The spectators, confused at the novelty of the sight, and 
looking and smelling on the water, immediately he takes the 
opportunity to convey into his hand another glass ; and this is 
•a glass of Angelica water, which stood prepared for him behind 
the pail or basket, which having drunk off, and it being fur- 
thered with four or five glasses of hike-warm water, out comes 
the evacuation, and brings with it a perfect smell of the Ange- 
lica, as it was in the rose-water above specified. 

" To conclude all, and to show you what a man of might he 
is, he has an instrument made of tin, which he puts between 
his lips and teeth ; this instrument has three several pipes, out 
of which, his arms a-kimbo, and putting forth himself, he will 
throw forth water from him in three pipes, the distance of four 
or five yards. This is all clear water, which he does with so 
much port and such a flowing grace, as if it were his master- 

" He has been invited by divers gentlemen and personages of 
honour to make the like evacuation in milk, as he made a sem- 
blance in wine. You are to understand that then he goes into 
another room, and drinks two or three pints of milk. On his 
return, which is always speedy, he goes first to his pail, and 
afterwards to his vomit. The milk which comes from him 
looks curdled, and shows like curdled milk and drink. If there 
be no milk ready to be had, he will excuse himself to his spec- 
tators, and make a large promise of what he will perform the 
next day, at which time being sure to have milk enough to 
serve his turn, he will perform his promise. 

" His milk he always drinks in a withdrawing room, that it 

may not be discovered, for that would be too apparent, nor has 

he any other shift to evade the discerning eye of the observers. 

" It is also to be considered that he never comes on the 

Stage (as he does sometimes three or four times in a day) but 



he first drinks the Brazil water, without which he can do no- 
thing at all, for all that comes from him has a tincture of the 
red, and it only varies and alters according to the abundance 
of water which he takes, and the strength of the white-wine 
vinegar, in which all the glasses are washed." 

Jane Lewson, 

An Eccentric Old Lady. 

TV IX ES. LEWSON (commonly called Lady Lewson, from her 
"*■*■*■ very, eccentric manner of drsss) was bom in the year 
1 700, in Essex Street in' the Strand, of reputable parents of 
the name of jjVaughan, and was married at an early age to 
Mr. Lewson, a wealthy gentleman, then living in the house in 
which she died. She became a widow at the age of twenty- 
six, having only one daughter living at the time. Mrs. Lewson 
being left by her husband in affluent circumstances, preferred 
to continue single, and remained so, although she had many 
suitors. When her daughter married, being left alone, she 
became fond of retirement, and rarely went out, or permitted 
the visits of any person. For the last thirty years of her life 
she kept no servant, except one old female, who died after a 
servitude of twenty years, and was succeeded by her grand- 
daughter, who marrying shortly after, was replaced by an old 
man, who attended the different houses in the square to go on 
errands, clean shoes, &c. Mrs: Lewson took this man into her 
house, and he acted as her steward, butler, cook and house- 
maid ; and, with the exception of two old lap-dogs and a cat, 
he was • her only companion. The house she occupied was 
large, and elegantly furnished, but very ancient : the beds were 
kept constantly made, although .they had not been slept in for 
about thirty years. Her apartment being only occasionally 
swept out, but never washed, the windows were so crusted with 


mat . ' AWta 

BiigcjyBlSyS . Co oj er . 




: ;%%& 


dirt that they hardly admitted a ray of light. She used to tell 
her acquaintance, that, if the rooms were wetted, it might be 
the occasion of her catching cold ; and as to cleaning the win- 
dows, she observed, that many accidents happened through 
that ridiculous practice : the glass might be broken, the person 
might be wounded, and the expense would fall upon her to 
repair them. A large garden in the rear of the house was the 
only thing she paid attention to ; this was always kept in good 
order ; and here, when the weather permitted, she enjoyed the 
air, or sometimes sat and read, of which she was particularly 
fond ; or else chatted on times past, with any of the few re- 
maining acquaintances whose visits she permitted. She seldom 
visited, except at a grocer's in the square, with whom she 
dealt. She had for many years survived every relative within 
many degrees of kindred. She was so partial to the fashions 
that prevailed in her youthful days, that she never changed 
the manner of her dress from that worn in the time of George I. 
being always decorated 

" "With ruffs, and cuffs, and fardingales, and things." 

She always wore powder, with a large tache made of horse 
hair, upon her head, over which the hair was turned up, and a 
cap over it which knotted under her chin, and three or four 
curls hanging down her neck ; she generally wore silk gowns, 
and the train long, with a deep flounce all round ; a very long 
waist, and very tightly laced up to her neck, round which was 
a kind of ruff or frill. The sleeves of her gown came down 
below the elbow, from each of which four or five large cuffs 
were attached ; a large bonnet quite flat, high-heeled shoes, a 
large black silk cloak, trimmed round with lace, and a gold- 
headed cane, completed her every-day costume for the last 
eighty years, and in which she walked round the square. 

She never washed herself, because those people who did so, 
she said, were always taking cold, or laying the foundation of 
some dreadful disorder ; her method was, to besmear her face 
and neck all over with hog's-lard, because -that was soft and 



lubricating ; and then, because she wanted a little colour on 
her cheeks, she used to bedaub them with rose pink ! 

Her manner of living was so methodical, that she would not 
drink her tea out of any other than a favourite cup. She was 
equally particular with respect to her knives, forks, plates, &c. 
At breakfast she arranged in a particular way the paraphernalia 
of the tea-table ; at dinner, she also observed a general rule, 
and always sat in her favourite chair. She always enjoyed 
excellent health, assisted in regulating her house, and never 
had, until a short time before her decease, an hour's illness. 
She entertained the greatest aversion to medicine : and what is 
remarkable, she cut two new teeth at the age of 87, and was 
never troubled with the tooth-ache. She lived in five reigns, 
and was supposed the most faithful Irving historian of her 
time ; events of the year 1715 being fresh in her recollection. 
A few days previous to her death, an old lady, who was her 
neighbour, died suddenly, which had such an effect upon her, 
that she frequently said her time was also come, and she should 
soon follow. She enjoyed all her faculties until that period, 
when she became weak, took to her bed, and refused medical 
aid. Her conduct to her few distant relations was exceedingly 
capricious, and she would never see any of them ; and it was 
not until a few hours before her dissolution, that any alteration 
was observed in her temper. 

She died on Tuesday, May 28, 1816, at her house in Cold 
Bath Square at the advanced age of 116 ; and was buried in 
Bunhill-fields burying ground. 

-Engrarecl-W B. . Co op er 

]?^Tmm "tmiEj ^tszlid jz-dh, 

' /'•/< /l(/-' 6-??y f/lc' /P'^('r/j ef 6/ (tftyUU /?..'? 



Peter the Wild Boy, 

Of the Woods of Hamelin. 

N the continent of Europe, the regions of which are inter- 
spersed with vast forests and uncultivated tracts, various 
individuals of the human species have at different times heen 
discovered in a state no better than that of the brute creation. 
With nearly all of them this has been the case to such a degree, 
that it has been found impossible to obtain from them any in- 
formation respecting the circumstances which reduced them to 
such a deplorable situation, or of the manner in which they 
contrived to preserve their lives amidst the numerous perils by 
which they were surrounded. Most of these unfortunate 
beings were so completely brutalized as to be utter strangers to 
the faculty of speech and totally incapable of acquiring it — a 
fact which demonstrates how much man is indebted to the 
society of his fellow-creatures for many of the eminent advan- 
tages possessed by him over the other classes of animated 

One of the most singular of these human brutes, as they may 
justly be denominated, was Peter the Wild Boy, whose origin 
and history, previous to his discovery, must, from the reasons 
already mentioned, remain for ever a secret. He was found in 
the year 1725, in a wood near Hamelin, about twenty-five 
miles from Hanover, walking on his hands and feet, climbing 
trees like a squirrel, and feeding on grass and moss ; and in 
the month of November was conveyed to Hanover by the 
superintendent of the House of Correction at Zell. At this 
time he was supposed to be about thirteen years old, and could 
not speak. This singular creature was presented to King 
George I. then at Hanover, while at dinner. The king caused 
him to taste of all the dishes at the table ; and in order to 
bring him by degrees to relish human diet, he directed that he 
should have such provision as he seemed best to like, and such 
instructions as might best fit him for human society. 


Soon after this, the boy made his escape into the same wood, 
where he concealed himself among the branches of a tree, which 
was sawed down to recover him. He was brought over to 
England at the beginning of 1726, and exhibited to the king 
and many of the nobility. In this country he was distinguished 
by the appellation of Peter the Wild Boy, which he ever after- 
wards retained. 

He appeared to have scarcely any ideas, was uneasy at being 
obliged to wear clothes, and could not be induced to lie on a 
bed, but sat and slept in a corner of the room, whence it was 
conjectured that he used to sleep on a t:ee for security against 
wild beasts. He was committed to the care of Dr. Arbuthnot, 
at whose house he either was, or was to have been baptized ; 
but notwithstanding all the doctor's pains, he never could 
bring the wild youth to the use of speech, or the pronunciation 
of words. As every effort of this kind was found to be in 
vain, he was placed with a farmer at a small distance from 
town, and a pension was allowed him by the king, which he 
enjoyed till his death. 

The ill success of these efforts seems to have laid curiosity 
asleep, till Lord Monboddo again called the public attention to 
this phenomenon. That nobleman had been collecting all the 
particulars he could meet with concerning Peter, in order to 
establish a favourite but truly whimsical hypothesis. The plan 
of his work on the " Origin and Progress of Language," neces- 
sarily involved the history of civilization and general knowledge. 
His Lordship carried his researches to a period far beyond the 
records of history, when men might be supposed to possess no 
means of the vocal communication of their thoughts but natural 
and inarticulate sounds. Abstracting, in imagination, from 
the rational superiority of man, whatever seems to depend on 
his use of artificial language,, as a sign of thought, he represents 
the earlier generations of the human race as having been little, 
if at all, exalted in intelligence above the ape and the orang- 
outang, whose form bears a resemblance to the human. The 
spirit of paradox even inclined him to believe that those rude 
men, who wanted articulate language must have had tails, of 


which they might gradually have divested themselves, either 
by attentions to the breed, like those of a Cully or a Bakewell, 
or by continual docking, till the tail was utterly extirpated. 

In a very witty and ludicrous piece, by Dean Swift, entitled, 
" It cannot rain but it pours," he gives an account of this won- 
derful wild man, as he calls him, replete with satire and ridi- 
cule, but containing many particulars concerning him that 
were undoubtedly true. Lord Monboddo, therefore, concluded 
that the other facts mentioned by that witty writer, though 
nowhere else to be found, are likewise authentic, whatever may 
be thought of the use and application he makes of them : such 
as, that in the circle at court he endeavoured to kiss the young 
Lady Walpole ; that he put on his hat before the king, and 
laid hold of the Lord Chamberlain's staff; that he expressed 
his sensations by certain sounds which he had framed to him- 
self, and particularly that he neighed something like a horse, 
in which way he commonly expressed his joy; that he under- 
stood the language of birds and beasts, by which they express 
their appetites and feelings ; that his senses were more acute 
than those of the tame man ; and, lastly, that he could sing 
sometimes. These facts, his lordship contends, the dean must 
have known, for he was at London at the time, and of Swift's 
integrity in not stating any facts that were untrue, even in a 
work of humour, his lordship has no doubt. The dean farther 
said, that it was evident, by several tokens, that this wild boy 
had a father and mother like one of us. "This,'' says Lord 
Monboddo, " I believe also to be true, because I was told by a 
person yet living, that when he was caught he had a collar 
about his neck with something written upon it." 

In Peter the Wild Boy, Lord Monboddo conceived that he 
had discovered a corroboration of his eccentric opinion. His 
lordship, accordingly, went to see him, and the result of his 
inquiries is thus stated in his " Ancient Metaphysics" : — 

" It was in the beginning of June, 1782, that I saw him in 
a farm-house called Broadway, about a mile from Berkham- 
stead, kept there on a pension of thirty pounds, which the 
king pays. He is but of low stature, not exceeding five feet 


three inches, and though he must now be about seventy years 
of age, he has a fresh, healthy look. He wears his beard ; his 
face is not at all ugly or disagreeable, and he has a look that 
may be called sensible or sagacious for a savage. About 
twenty years ago he used to elope, and once, as I was told, he 
wandered as far as Norfolk ; but of late he has become quite 
tame, and either keeps the house, or saunters about the farm. 
He has been during the thirteen last years where he lives at 
present, and before that he was twelve years with another 
farmer, whom I saw and conversed with. This fanner 'told me 
he had been put to school somewhere in Hertfordshire, but had 
only learned to articulate his own name Peter, and the name of 
King George, both which I heard him pronounce very dis- 
tinctly. But the woman of the house where he now is, for the 
man happened not to be at home, told me he understood every- 
thing that was said to him concerning the common aifairs of 
life, and I saw that he readily understood several things she 
said to him while I was present. Among other things, she de- 
sired him to sing Nancy Dawson, which he accordingly did, 
and another tune that she named. He was never mischievous, 
but had that gentleness of manners which I hold to be charac- 
teristic of our nature, at least [till we become carnivorous, and 
hunters or warriors. He feeds at present as the farmer and 
his wife do, but, as I was told by an old woman, who remem- 
bered to have seen him when he first came to Hertfordshire, 
which she computed to be about fifty-five years before, he then 
fed much on leaves, particularly of cabbage, which she saw him 
eat raw. He was then, as she thought, about fifteen years of 
age, walked upright, but could climb trees like a squirrel. At 
present he not only eats flesh, but has acquired a taste for 
beer, and even for spirits, of which he inclines to drink more 
than he can get. The old farmer with whom he lived before 
he came to his present situation, informed me that Peter had 
that taste before he came to him. He is also become very fond 
of fire, but has not acquired a liking for money ; for though he 
takes it, he does not keep it, but gives it to his landlord or 
landlady, which I suppose is a lesson they have taught him. 


He retains so much of his natural instinct, that he has a fore- 
feeling of bad weather, growling and howling, and showing 
great disorder before it comes on." 

His Lordship afterwards requested Mr. Burgess, of Oxford, 
to make further inquiries for him on the spot, concerning 
Peter, and that gentleman transmitted him an account, which 
was in substance as follows : — 

Peter, in his youth, was very remarkable for his strength, 
which always appeared so much superior, that the stoutest 
young men were afraid to contend with him. His vigour con- 
tinued unimpaired till the year 1781, when he was suddenly 
taken ill, fell down before the fire, and for a time lost the use 
of his right side. I met with an old gentleman, a surgeon of 
Hempstead, who remembers to have seen Peter in London, 
between the years 1724 and 1726. He told me, when he first 
came to England, he was particularly fond of raw flesh and 
bones, and was always dressed in fine clothes, of which Peter 
seemed not a little proud. He still retains his passion for 
finery ; and if any person has anything smooth or shining in 
his dress, it soon attracts the notice of Peter, who shows his 
attention by stroking it. He is not a great eater, and is fond 
of water, of which he will drink several draughts immediately 
after breakfasting on tea, or even milk. He would not drink 
beer till lately, but he is fond of all kinds of spirits, particularly 
gin, and likewise of onions, which he will eat like apples. He 
does not often go out without his master, but he will some- 
times go to Berkhamstead, and call at the gin-shop, where the 
people know his errand, and treat him. Gin is one of the 
most powerful means to persuade him to do anything with 
alacrity ; hold up a glass of that liquor, and he will not fail to 
smile and raise his voice. He cannot bear the sight of an 
apothecary, who once attended him, nor the taste of physic, 
which he will not take but under some great disguise. 

If he hears any music, he will clap his hands, and throw his 
head about in a wild frantic manner. He has a very quick 
sense of music, and will often repeat a tune after once hearing it. 
When he has heard a tune which is difficult, he continues hum- 


ming it a long time, and is- not easy till he is master of it. He 
understands everything that is said to him by his master and 
mistress ; while I was with him, the farmer asked him several 
questions, which he answered rapidly, and not very distinctly, 
but sufficiently so as to be understood even by a stranger to 
his manner. Some of the questions and answers were as fol- 
lows:— "Who is your father?" "King George." "What is 
your name 1" " Pe — ter," pronouncing the two syllables with 
a short interval between them. "What is that?" "Bow- 
wow," (the dog). "What horse will you ride upon?" 
" Cuckow." This is not the name of any of their horses, but 
it is his constant reply to that question ; so that it may proba- 
bly have been the name of one of the horses belonging to his 
former master. His answers never exceed two words, and he 
never says anything of his own accord. He has likewise been 
taught, when asked the question " What are you ?" to reply, 
"Wild Man." " Where were you found ?" "Hanover." "Who 
found you ?" " King George." If he is desired to tell twenty, 
he will count the numbers exactly on his fingers, with an in- 
distinct sound at each number ; but after another person, he 
will say, one, two, three, &c pretty distinctly. 

Till the spring of 1782, which was soon after his illness, he 
always appeared remarkably animated by the influence of the 
spring, singing all day ; and if it was clear, half the night. He 
is much pleased at the sight of the moon and stars ; he will 
sometimes stand out in the warmth of the sun, with his face 
turned up towards it in a strained attitude, and he likes to be 
out in a starry night, if not cold. These particulars naturally 
lead to the inquiry, whether he has, or seems to have any idea 
of the great Author of all these wonders. I thought this a 
question of so much curiosity, that when I left Broadway, I 
rode back several miles to ask whether he had ever betrayed 
any sense of a Supreme Being. I was told, that when he first 
came into that part of the country, different methods were 
taken to teach him to read, and to instruct him in the prin? 
ciples of religion, but in vain. He learned nothing, nor did 
he ever show any feeling of the consciousness of a God. 


He is very fond of fire, aad often brings in fuel, which he 
would heap up as high as the fire-place would contain it, were 
he not prevented by his master. He will sit in the chimney- 
corner, even in summer, while they are brewing with a very 
large fire, sufficient to make another person faint who sits there 
long. He will often amuse himself by setting five or six chairs 
before the fire, and seating himself on each of them by turns, 
as the love of variety prompts him to change his place. 

He is extremely good-tempered, excepting in cold and 
gloomy weather, for he is very sensible of the change of the 
atmosphere. He is not easily provoked, but when made 
angry by any person, he would run after him, making a 
strange noise, with his teeth fixed in the back of his hand. 
I could not find that he ever did any violence in the house, 
excepting when he first came over, he would sometimes tear 
his bed-clothes, to which it was long before he was reconciled. 
He has never, at least since his present master has known him, 
shown any attention to women, and I am informed that he 
never did, except when purposely or jocosely forced into an 

He ran away several times while he was at Broadway, but 
never since he has been with his present master. In 1745, or 
1746, he was taken up as a spy from Scotland; as he was un- 
able to speak, the people supposed him obstinate, and threat- 
ened him with punishment for his contumacy ; but a lady who 
had seen him in London, acquainted them with the character 
of their prisoner, and directed them whither to send him. In 
these excursions he used to live on raw herbage, berries; and 
young tender roots of trees. 

Of the people who are about him, he is particularly attached 
to his master. He will often go out into the field with him and 
his men, and seems pleased to be employed in anything that 
can assist them. But he must always have some persons to 
direct his actions, as you may judge from the following cir- 
cumstance. Peter was one day engaged with his master in 
filling a dung-cart. His master had occasion to go into the 
house, and left Peter to finish the work, which he soon accom- 


plished. But as Peter must be employed, he saw no reason 
why he should not be as usefully employed in emptying the 
cart as he had before been in filling it. On his master's return 
he found the cart nearly emptied again, and learned a lesson by 
it which he never afterwards neglected. 

To these accounts we have nothing further to add, than that 
Peter did not long survive the visits of Lord Monboddo and 
his friend. He died at the farm in the month of February, 
1785, at the supposed age of seventy-three years. 

William Stevenson, 

A Notorious Beggar. 

THIS extraordinary man was born at Dunlop, and bred a 
mason ; but during many of the latter years of his life, 
he wandered about as a com in on beggar. In 1788, he and his 
wife separated upon these strange conditions — that the first 
that proposed an agreement should forfeit £100. This singu- 
lar pair never met again, and it is not known what became of 
the woman. 

Stevenson was much afflicted during the two last years of. 
his life with the stone. As his disease increased, he was fully 
aware of his approaching dissolution ; and he made the follow- 
ing extraordinary preparation for the event. He sent for a 
baker, and ordered twelve dozen of burial cakes, and a great 
profusion of sugar biscuit; together with a corresponding 
quantity of wine and spirituous liquors. He next sent for 
the joiner, and ordered a coffin decently mounted, with par- 
ticular instruction that the wood should be quite dry, and the 
joints firm and impervious to water. The grave-digger was 
next sent for, and asked if he thought he could get a place to 
put him in after he was dead. The spot fixed on was in the 
church-yard at Kiccarton, a village about half a mile distant 


from Glasgow. He enjoined the sexton to be sure and make 
his grave roomy ; and he might rest assured that he would be 
well remembered for his care and trouble.* Having made these 
arrangements, he ordered the old woman who attended him, 
to go to a certain nook, and bring out nine pounds to be ap- 
propriated to defray his funeral expenses. He told her at 
the same time not to be grieved, for he had not forgotten her 
in his will. In a few hours afterwards, in the full exercise of 
his mental powers, but in the most excruciating agonies, he 
died in Glen Street, Kilmarnock, on Friday, July 17, 1817, 
in the 87th year of his age. 

A neighbour was immediately sent for, to examine and seal 
up his effects. The first thing they found was a bag, contain- 
ing large silver pieces, such as crowns, half-crowns, and dollars, 
to a large amount : in a corner was secreted, amongst a vast 
quantity of musty rags, a great number of guineas, and seven 
shilling pieces. In his trunk was found a bond for £300, and 
other bonds and securities to a considerable amount. In all, 
the property amounted to £900. His will was found among 
some old paper, leaving to his housekeeper £20, and the rest 
of his property among his distant relations. As it required 
some time to give his relatives intimation of his death, and to 
make preparation for his funeral, he lay in state four days, 
during which period, the place where he was, resembled more 
an Irish wake, than a deserted room where the Scotch lock up 
their dead. The invitations to his funeral were most singular. 
Persons were not asked individually, but whole families ; so 
that, except a few relations dressed in black, his obsequies were 
attended by tradesmen in their working clothes, bare-footed 
boys and girls, and an immense crowd of tattered beggars, to 
the aged among whom he left sixpence, and to the younger 
threepence. After the interment, this motley group retired to 
a large barn fitted up for the purpose, where a scene of profu- 
sion and inebriety was exhibited almost without parallel. 


John Broughton, 

A Notorious Pugilist. 

JOHN BROUGHTON, who has been styled " the founder of 
the British School of Boxing," was born in 1704, and for 
many years followed the profession of a waterman, and was the 
first man who won Dogget's coat and badge, which is rowed 
for annually, on the first of August. He however, abandoned ■ 
his wherry for the more profitable, though less honourable, em- 
ployment of pugilism. 

About the middle of the last century boxing began to obtain 
notoriety, through the encouragement afforded by some gam- 
bling and vitiated noblemen, and others, headed by the well- 
known Duke of Cumberland ; who drew in their train numbers 
of weak-minded and dissipated persons, who are always found 
ready to mix among nobility, for the honour of boasting an ac- 
quaintance with lords and dukes. 

About this time one George Taylor erected a booth at Tot- 
tenham Court, where he invited the professors of the art to 
display their skill, and the public to be present at its exhibition. 
The entrance-money at times amounted to £100 or £150 ; two* 
thirds of which were generally given to the champion, and the 
remaining third to the loser ; though sometimes, by an express 
agreement of the parties, the money was shared alike between 
the conqueror and conquered. Taylor's booth being complained 
of as inconvenient, Broughton, who was then rising into note 
as the first bruiser in London, was prevailed on to build a place 
better adapted for such exhibitions, near Oxford Street, which 
was opened on the 10th of March, 1743, under the name of 
" Broughton's New Amphitheatre." 

But the foundation of the " British School of Boxing," for 
which Broughton is notorious, was his opening an academy, 
which was first announced by the following advertisement in 
the Daily Advertiser, February 1, 1747 : — 

Engxa-v-e & hy Si -Co ox, - i\ " 

cJTOISIKf IB IE® Iff ©IE IF©!?, 

<-> ;#- , 

i-tttf. (£■<,/> L 



" Mr. Broughton proposes, with proper assistance, to open an aca- 
demy at his house, in the Haymarket, for the instruction of those who 
are willing to he initiated in the majesty of hoxing, where the whole 
theory and practice of that truly British art, with all the various 
stops, Hows, cross-buttocks, &c, incident to the combatants, will be 
fully taught and explained ; and, that persons of quality and dis- 
tinction may not be debarred from entering into a course of those lec- 
tures, they will be given with the utmost tenderness and regard to 
the delicacy of the frame and constitution of the pupil, for which rea- 
son muffles {boxing gloves) are provided, that will effectually secure 
them from the inconvenience of blaok eyes, broken jaws, and bloody 

This invitation had the desired effect ; the academy was nu- 
merously attended, and was a source of great profit to its pro- 

Broughton, after fighting several years, and maintaining his 
ascendency, was at length vanquished by Slack, in April, 1750, 
at Broughton's Amphitheatre. Some thousands were lost on 
the unexpected defeat ; and nearly £150 was taken at the door, 
besides many tickets being sold at a guinea and a half eachj all 
of which went to Slack, who is supposed to have gained nearly 
£600 by his victory. After this defeat Broughton never fought 
again ; and his amphitheatre was shortly after shut up. 

It is said he accompanied his worthy patron, the Duke of 
Cumberland, to the Continent, and upon his being shown the 
fine regiment of grenadiers at Berlin, belonging to Frederick 
the Great, so distinguished for their martial appearance and 
great valour, was asked by the duke what he thought of any 
of them for a set-to, when Broughton replied, " Why, your royal 
highness, I should have no objection to fight the whole regi- 
ment, only be kind enough to allow me a breakfast between 
each battle." 

Broughton died, January 8, 1789, at Walcot Place, Lambeth, 
in his 85th year. He was buried at Lambeth Church on the 
21st, and his funeral was attended by several of the principal 
professors of his art. It was supposed he died worth £7000. 

A Captain Godfrey, who wrote a " Treatise on the useful 
Science of Defence," thus eulogizes Broughton. 


" Advance, brave Broughton ! Thee I pronounce Captain 
of the Boxers. As far as I can look back, I think I ought to 
open the characters with him : I know none so fit, so able, to 
lead up the van. This is giving the living preference to the 
rest. What can be stronger than to say that, for seventeen or 
eighteen years, he has fought every able boxer that appeared 
against him, and has never yet been beat 1 This being the 
case, we may venture to conclude from it : but, not to build 
alone on this, let us examine further into its merits. What is 
it that he wants ? Strength equal to what is human, skill and 
judgment equal to what can be acquired, undebauched wind, 
and a bottom spirit never to pronounce the word ' Enough !' 
He fights the stick as well as most men, and understands a 
good deal of the small-sword. This practice has given him the 
distinction of time and measure beyond the rest. He stops as 
regularly as the swordsman, and carries his blows truly in the 
line ; he steps not back, distrusting of himself, to stop a blow, 
and piddle in the return, with an arm unaided by his body, 
producing but a kind of fly-flap blows, such as pastry-cooks use 
to beat those insects from their tarts and cheese-cakes. No ; 
Broughton steps bold and firmly in, bids a welcome to the 
coming blow ; receives it with his guardian arm ; then, with a 
general summons of his swelling muscles, and his firm body 
seconding his arm, and supplying it with all its weight, forces 
the pile-driving force upon his man." 

4?f /a. 

■/// /, • 

f/m<?MJ -_/*.?../?//{<' .-'#?<}.■;/,»/ 


Joseph Clark, 

The Posture-Master. 

T^HIS man was a very extraordinary posture-master who re- 
■^ sided in Pall Mall. Though well-made, and rather gross 
than thin, he exhibited, in a most natural manner, almost every 
species of deformity and dislocation. He frequently diverted 
himself with the tailors, by sending for one of them to take 
measure of Mm, and would so contrive it as to have a most 
immoderate rising in one of the shoulders : when the clothes 
were brought home, and tried upon him, the deformity was 
removed into the other shoulder ; upon which the tailor asked 
pardon for the mistake, and altered the garment as expediti- 
ously as possible : but, upon a third trial, he found him per- 
fectly free from blemish about the shoulders, though an unfor- 
tunate lump appeared upon his back. In short, this wandering 
tumour puzzled all the workmen about town, who found it 
impossible to accommodate so changeable a customer. He dis- 
located the vertebrae of his back, and other parts of the body, 
in such a manner that Molins, the famous surgeon, before 
whom he appeared as a patient, was shocked at the sight, and 
would not even attempt his cure. He often passed for a cripple 
among persons with whom he had been in company but a few 
minutes before. Upon these occasions he would not only 
change the position of his limbs, but entirely alter the figure of 
his countenance. The powers of his face were more extraor- 
dinary than the flexibility of his body. He would assume all 
the uncouth grimaces that he saw at a quaker's meeting, the 
theatre, or any other public place. He died about the begin- 
ning of King William's reign, as it appears from Evelyn's 
Numismata that he was not living in 1697. 



Thomas Wood, 

The Abstemious Miller. 

'T'HOMAS WOOD was born on the 30th of November, 
-*■ 1719, of parents who were apt to be intemperate in their 
manner of living ; he was subject to various disorders, parti- 
cularly the rheumatism, until he attained the age of thirteen 
years. He then had the small-pox, and from that time became 
healthy, to the age of about forty-three years. From his 
attaining the state of manhood to this period, but especially 
during the latter part of the time, he indulged himself, even to 
excess, in fat meat, of which he used to eat voraciously three 
times a day, together with large quantities of butter and cheese. 
Nor was he more cautious with respect to strong ale, which 
was his common drink. About his fortieth year, he began to 
grow very fat, but finding he had a good appetite, and digested 
his food without difficulty, and that his sleep was undisturbed, 
he made no alteration in his diet. It was in his forty-fourth 
year that he first began to complain of the heart-burn, want 
of sleep, frequent sickness at his stomach, pains in his head, 
&c. He had now almost a constant thirst, a great lowness of 
spirits, violent rheumatism, and frequent attacks of the gout. 
He had likewise two epileptic fits : but the symptom which 
appeared to him to be the most formidable, was a sense of suf- 
focation, which often came on him, particularly after his meals. 
Under such a complication of diseases, every day increasing, he 
continued till the month of August, 1764. At this time the 
Eev. Mr. Powley, a worthy clergyman in the neighbourhood, 
observing his very ill state of health, and the extreme corpu- 
lence of his person, recommended to him an exact regimen ; 
and pointed out the IAfe of Cornaro, as a book likely to suggest 
to him a salutary course of living. This work convinced him that 
intemperance was the principal cause of all his complaints, and 
he therefore determined to try whether the cause being re- 
moved, the effects might not cease. However, he thought it 

' 'EiLgTeCvea-TayB-Coopea:. 



prudent not to make a total change in his diet suddenly; 
accordingly he at first confined himself to one pint of ale 
every day, and used animal food sparingly. This method he 
soon found to answer to his satisfaction, for he felt easier and- 
lighter, and his spirits became less oppressed. These good 
effects encouraged him to proceed in his experiment, and there- 
fore after he had pursued the regimen before mentioned, during 
two months, he deducted from his allowance half the former 
quantity of ale, and was still more sparing of gross animal food. 
In this course he continued till the 4th of January, 1765, when 
he entirely left off all malt liquor ; and in the following month 
he began to drink only water, and to eat none except the 
lighter meats. Under this degree of abstinence, although some 
of his complaints were relieved, yet some of them remained in 
full force. The rheumatism tormented him ; he then used the 
cold bath ; and next the dumb bell, in which he persevered. 
Water was his only drink from the beginning of January, 
1765, to the 25th of the following October. From this day he 
drank no more until the 9th of May, 1766, when he drank 
two glasses and a half of water ; after that period he drank no 
more of any liquor whatever, except only what he took in the 
form of medicine. He then avoided cheese, then butter, and 
on the 31st of July, in the same year, was the last time he 
tasted animal flesh. From that period he principally confined 
himself to pudding, made of sea biscuit. He allowed himself 
very little sleep, generally going to bed at eight o'clock in the 
evening, sometimes even earlier, and generally rising about 
one o'clock in the morning, but being very rarely in bed after 

Under this strict course of abstinence he continued to live, 
and he expressed, in the highest terms, the great pleasure and 
tranquillity of mind which he enjoyed in consequence of it., 
The poor diet, to which he accustomed himself, -was as agree- 
able to his palate as his former food used to be ; and he had; 
the additional satisfaction to find his health established, his 
spirits lively, his sleep no longer disturbed by frightful dreams, 
and the strength of muscles so far improved, that he could 

10— a 


carry a quarter of a ton weight, which weight he in vain at- 
tempted to carry when he was about the age of thirty years. 
His voice, which was entirely lost for several years, became 
clear and strong. In short, to use his own expression, he was 
metamorphosed from a monster to a person of a moderate size ; 
from the condition of a decrepit old man to perfect health, and 
to the vigour and activity of youth. His flesh became firm, 
and his complexion well coloured. 

Prejudiced by a commonly prevailing superstition, Mr. Wood 
never suffered himself to be weighed, either during the state of 
his extreme corpulence, or after his reduction, but it is con- 
jectured that he lost ten or perhaps eleven stone weight. 

On being asked why he submitted to such very strict rules 
of diet, he answered that as he was ten years older than Cor- 
naro was when he began his regimen, he thought that, on that 
account, a more severe and abstemious course was necessary for 
him, and that he was greatly influenced by Dr. Cheyne's opinion, 
" that Cornaro would probably have lived longer had his re- 
gimen been more strict." 

To the question, what first induced him to abstain from all 
drink, he answered, that it happened one day that the servant 
had forgotten to bring his water at dinner, as usual; that, 
being then full of business, he did not think of calling for any ; 
and that, having found himself easier and less oppressed by 
that meal than common ; and determined to try whether a total 
omission of liquids might not be an improvement to his diet ; 
he soon found the experiment to answer. He added, that he 
was further encouraged to abstain from liquids by an observa- 
tion he had made in feeding hogs. He never allowed those 
animals to drink, and to this he attributed the excellence of 
his pork, it being greatly valued on account of the whiteness 
and firmness of the flesh. 

Mr. Wood was a great enemy to all fermented liquors, to 
butter, and to salt. Nay, he even doubted of the wholesome- 
ness of common bread, meaning bread which had undergone 
the process of fermentation. 

The pudding, which was his sole support during two years, 

Engraved "by K Page. 

FfAlTMASflllElL IBlTiriKLiE^ 


was made as follows : three pints of skimmed milk, boiling, 
were poured on one pound of the best sea biscuit, broken into 
pieces — this was done over night, and these ingredients were 
left to stand together until the following morning, when two 
eggs were added. This compound, being boiled in a cloth 
about the space of an hour, became a pudding of sufficient con- 
sistency to be cut with a knife. Of this, his quantity used to 
be one pound and a half, at four or five o'clock in the morning, 
as his breakfast, and the same at noon, as his dinner, after 
which, he abstained from food until the next day. 

The case of Thomas Wood was attested as truth by two 
clergymen, a churchwarden, a physician, and an apothecary of 
the place he lived in. 

An account of him was likewise drawn up by Sir George 
Baker, and inserted in the second volume of the Medical 

Thus, by extreme abstinence and regularity, he prolonged an 
impaired constitution, and died in the year 1783, aged sixty- 

Nathaniel Bentley, 

The Well-known " Dirty Dick." 

NATHANIEL BENTLEY, late the proprietor of a hardware 
shop in Leadenhall Street, known by the characteristic 
appellation of the Dirty Warehouse, and himself distinguished 
by that of Dirty Dick, was the son of a gentleman of the same 
name, who carried on the same business in those premises. 
The elder' Bentley here lived in considerable style, keeping his 
carriage, and also a country-house. He gave his son a good 
education, but being of a tyrannical disposition, treated him, as 
well as his servants, in the most unreasonable manner, in con- 
sequence of which young Bentley ran away from his father, and 


was absent several years ; during which time it is supposed 
that he contracted that peculiar turn of mind which afterwards 
manifested itself in such an eccentric manner. 

His frugality seems to have been an hereditary endowment, 
for his father, who possessed considerable property in houses at 
Islington, married a lady for the sake of her fortune, which 
enabled him to save his own money ; and laid down his own 
coach, making use of hers. Though a dissenter, he gave a bell 
to the church of St. Catherine Cree, in which parish he resided, 
on condition . that a peal should be rung on his birth-day, as 
long as he lived. 

Bentley's father died about the year 1760, leaving all his 
property to his son, who, perhaps, desirous at that time to 
relinquish business, at first intended to dispose of the stock, 
trade, and lease of the premises, for which he was in treaty 
with a Mr. Bliss, of Pall-mall. The latter proposed to pay half 
the purchase money and to gi\e undeniable security for the 
remainder, but these terms were rejected by Bentley. At that 
time the premises formed two distinct shops ; these he now 
threw into one, and in 1764 set out for Paris. During his 
absence he left a person to attend to his business, who being a 
cleanly and industrious man, placed every article in proper 
order, little thinking it would be the last time that some of 
them would ever be cleaned and dusted. 

Previous to the death of his father, and for some years after 
that event, young Bentley was called the beau of Leadenhall 
Street, and was seen at all public places dressed as a man of 
fashion. At this period his favourite suit was blue and silver, 
with his hair dressed in the highest style of fashionable extra- 
vagance. He paid several visits to Paris, and was present at 
the coronation of Louis XVI., to whom he was personally intro- 
duced, and was considered one of the most accomplished 
English gentlemen then at the French court. He spoke several 
languages, particularly French and Italian, with great fluency, 
and associated with characters of the highest respectability. 
The last time he went to Paris, he committed the care of his 
shop to two persons whom he thought he could trust, and on 


his return paid their demands, without requiring any v6uchers, 
observing he was most likely to obtain correct accounts by 
having none. 

At what time he began to assume that appearance from which 
he derived the familiar appellation of Dirty Dick, is uncertain. 
Though he occasionally appeared at masquerades, assemblies, 
and other public places, in the most elegant attire, yet 
his appearance at home was such as fully to justify the above 
epitaph. He generally attended in his shop without a coat, 
while the remainder of his dress and his whole person exactly 
corresponded with the appearance of his warehouse. A gentle- 
man once venturing to give him some advice respecting the 
propriety of a little more attention to personal cleanliness, he 
replied, " It is of no use, sir ; if I wash my hands to-day they 
will be dirty again to-morrow." On returning from any place 
of public entertainment, his elegant attire was immediately 
thrown aside for his shop clothing, which he mended himself; 
and it was also said that he made no secret of washing and 
mending his own linen, and of purchasing his shoes at Eag-fair. 
Before the hair-powder tax was introduced, Bentley frequently 
paid a shilling for dressing . that head which he afterwards 
seemed to think unworthy even of a comb. On one occasion 
he sent for a puff, but would not have it when told that the 
price was sixpence. " Why !" cried he, "they used to be two 
shillings a'dozen, and that's only two-pence a piece," and rather 
than give the sum demanded he made shift with the foot of an 
old stocking. 

Formerly he did not go out more than once or twice in a 
year, on account of his being so tormented by the gaping mul- 
titude, who were all in uproar after him, that he has frequently 
been obliged to have the assistance of the beadle, or a constable 
to disperse them. He once played these idle folks a curious 
trick, by placing a lighted candle in one of his windows, and 
slipping out unperceived, while the expecting throng remained 
several hours opposite the house in hopes of seeing him, but 
were obliged at last to disperse without satisfying their curi- 
osity. He, however, latterly appeared very often in the street, 


and frequently went to market for himself, carrying the provi- 
sion home in his pocket, which he always cooked himself. 

He once bought a live goose for the sake of the wings to 
clean his goods, on which occasion he employed a woman to go 
to market for him, with a particular charge to buy a young 
one, and gave her three-pence for her trouble. The goose, 
however, proved to be old, which he did not discover while 
eating the flesh, but by endeavouring to crack the breast-bone, 
on which he sought the woman, in order to recover the three- 
pence he had paid her. He often sent in the name of Dirty 
Dick for very small quantities of vegetables, and was seldom 
known to have any fresh meat, though he would occasionally 
indulge himself with small pieces, called cuttings. His chief 
diet was lean bacon, as he remarked that fat was wasteful ; and 
he allowed himself half a gallon of table-beer every three days. 
In his living, it is reported that he never exceeded eighteen- 
pence a day, for he observed that if he had followed the ex- 
amples of many other people, or even his own former custom of 
living, he should inevitably have involved himself in a state of 
bankruptcy or have spent the remainder of his days in prison. 
When told that other people could not live as he did, he would 
reply : " Every one can that pleases" — insisting that, it was no 
hardship to him, though, in his earlier days, he had seven 
dishes on his table at a time, and three servants to attend him. 

Being applied to for his vote during the contest of Sir Francis 
Burdett and Mainwaring, for Middlesex, he refused it for 
either, as he had never taken an oath in his life, and declined 
even the affirmation of a Quaker, alleging the hurry of business 
as his excuse. 

It seems that Mr. Bentley was the only one in his family 
that was governed by these strange propensities ; he had a 
sister, a very accomplished lady, who for elegance and neat- 
ness was quite the contrast of himself ; she was the wife of a 
Mr. Lindegreen, a considerable merchant of Mincing Lane, 
after whose decease she took up her residence at Durham 
Place, Chelsea, near the Hospital. She once paid her brother 
a visit, and bespoke some articles, which she requested him to 


send her. Bentley desired a person in his neighbourhood to 
take them home, observing, that if he went himself, he should 
not get payment on delivery of the goods. The messenger was 
surprised at the respectable appearance and polite behaviour of 
his sister, who desired him to give her love to her brother, that 
she would call to see him, and then settle with him ; on this 
message being communicated to Bentley, he exclaimed — "Aye, 
aye — I was afraid how it would be." She often visited her 
brother in her chariot, but never alighted, in consequence of 
the extreme filthiness of the shop. 

Having once invited some persons of high respectability to 
supper, after transacting business with them to a considerable 
amount, they came to appointment, and found him in his shop. 
He received them with great politeness, requesting them to 
excuse him a few minutes, and went out. He soon returned 
with a pound of cheese, a loaf, and two pots of porter, which 
he placed on his dirty counters, saying • " There, gentlemen, is 
your supper, and it is the best which the business we have been 
transacting will afford." He thought they would have partaken 
of it just as it was ; but with equal politeness they declined his 

At one time he had the misfortune to hurt his leg, while 
rummaging about, his mass of goods in his shop in search of 
an article ; having undertaken his cure he engaged with an 
old woman, at fourpence a day, to supply him with poultices, 
&c, but his leg getting worse, a surgeon was called in, who 
declared a mortification must ensue, if proper remedies were 
not applied ; to which he, after great hesitation, consented, and 
his removal to the doctor's house in Houndsditch being deemed 
expedient, the shop was shut up, and a poor woman commis- 
sioned to watch it by day, and a man by night. 

Bentley's house, which was of a large size, had originally a 
front of white plaster, which time had converted into a dingy 
black. Its outside perfectly corresponded with the interior, 
and both with the figure of its extraordinary inhabitant. The 
windows were literally as black, and covered as thickly with 
dirt and smoke, as the back of a chimney which has not been 


swept for many years. Of the windows, scarcely a pane was 
left whole, to remedy which several of the window shutters 
long remained unopened, and the other vacancies were repaired 
with japanned waiters, . and tea-trays, which were always 
chained to the window frames. Though this method of pro- 
ceeding may appear to have arisen from parsimony, yet noto- 
riety, rather than avarice, seemed to be his ruling principle. 
By the adoption of this dirty system he found, by experience, 
that he excited much curiosity, and attracted considerable no- 
tice. He has been heard himself to relate, that a lady came 
purposely from Yorkshire to see him as the most remarkable 
character she had ever heard of, and it is certain that other 
ladies have been equally curious. Several of his neighbours, 
especially those on the opposite side of the street, frequently 
offered to defray the expense of painting and repairing the 
front of his house, but this he constantly refused, alleging that 
bis shop was so well known abroad, as well as at home, by the 
denomination of the Dirty Warehouse of Leadenhali Street, that 
to alter its appearance would ruin his trade with the Levant 
and other foreign parts. 

The confusion which prevailed in the interior of this place 
was not less remarkable than its ruinous appearance without. 
Gold ear-rings, trinkets, and other valuable articles, lay buried 
among his goods in various parts of the house. Nothing, per- 
haps, can convey a better idea of the disorder of Bentley's shop 
and business than the following anecdote. The traveller of a 
mercantile house at Birmingham called upon him, and obtained 
an order to a considerable amount, which was duly executed. 
About two years afterwards he waited upon him for payment 
for the goods, when Bentley, not recollecting his person, was 
astonished at the demand, and declared his total ignorance of 
the transaction. The traveller, after repeated application, at- 
tributing the cause to the apparent confusion of the place, re- 
quested permission to search for the goods, which he thought 
he should know. After spending much time and trouble, he 
at length discovered the bale of goods, unpacked, exactly as it 


was sent from Birmingham, and Bentley, being convinced, im- 
mediately settled the account. 

The ignorant circulated a report that he had in his house a 
blue room, for the same purpose as that mentioned in the popular 
story of " Blue-beard ;" but this is thought to have been set on 
foot by himself, for the purpose of checking impertinent curi- 
osity. It is, however, a fact, that he had a room which had 
remained locked up without being ever opened for a great 
number of years. Of this singular fancy the following circum- 
stance is said to have been the cause. Bentley was engaged to 
be married to a young lady, and previous to the performance 
of the ceremony, he invited her and several of her relatives to 
partake of a sumptuous entertainment. Having prepared 
everything for their reception, he anxiously awaited in this 
apartment the arrival of his .intended bride, when a messen- 
ger entered, bringing the melancholy intelligence of her sudden 
death. This unexpected event had such an effect upon him, 
that he closed up the room, with the resolution that it should 
never again be opened. 

In this capacious habitation Bentley lived alone, without ser- 
vant or domestic of any kind. For more than twenty years 
before he quitted business, he had not kept a servant of either 
sex, and if asked the reason he would reply that he was once 
robbed by a servant, and was therefore determined never to 
keep one again. To a person who inquired whether he kept a 
dog or cat to destroy any vermin he might have in the house, 
he answered with a smile : " No sir, they only make more dirt 
and spoil more goods than their services are worth. And as to 
rats and mice," added he, " how can they live in my house 
when I take care to leave them nothing to eat?" 

Though he kept no servant in his house, he employed a poor 
man by the hour to watch his door, to prevent the intrusion of 
impertinent people, carry out his goods occasionally, buy pro- 
visions, and hand the shutters, which he himself put up and 
down every night and morning. This man had directions, 
when Bentley was above, shaving or otherwise employed, to 
call him on the entrance of any customer, when he would 


come down just as he was, half shaved, or perhaps half naked. 
Notwithstanding his oddities, he was remarkably polite to his 
customers, and the ladies in particular were loud in their praises 
of the elegance of his manners. 

Amid the mass of filth which a long series of years had 
accumulated in his habitation, Bentley led the kind of life we 
have already described, till his lease of the premises expired, 
and in February, 1804, he quitted them with great reluctance, 
being under articles to his successor, Mr. Gosling, to relinquish 
business in his favour. For thirty years he had invariably re- 
fused admittance to every one, the ground landlord not ex- 
cepted, declaring that he would not suffer a saint from heaven 
to go over his house. His lease terminated at Christmas, 1802, 
and during the next year he was the tenant of Mr. Gosling, 
and to him also he denied access till he could no longer with- 
hold it. 

Mr. Gosling, on obtaining possession of the premises, in- 
dulged the curious with a view of the apartments. This per- 
mission attracted a great number of visitors, by one of whom 
the following description of the interior of this extraordinary 
mansion is given. 

The first objects that attracted attention were the ponderous 
folding-doors of the shop, and the rusty bolts, bars, and chains 
for securing them. The ceiling in the hall exhibited traces of 
former elegance, and the staircase displayed much workman- 
ship. On the first flight of stairs hung the remains of a long 
extinguished lamp. The first room on the first floor had been 
a kitchen, where was seen a jack, spit, &c, the rusty condition 
of which demonstrated that it had not moved for many 
years. It had long been deprived of its chain, with which 
Bentley secured the tea-trays placed against the broken panes 
of his shop-windows. Here also was a clock, which was once 
handsome, and no doubt regulated the movements of his 
father's family, but now so disguised with dirt as to be much 
better calculated to inform the spectator how many years' filth 
it had accumulated, then to point out the fleeting hours and 
minutes. The kitchen range, once equally good and useful, 


had only been used to support a frying-pan without a handle, 
curiously mended with pegs, in which Bentley used to burn a 
mixture of small coal and charcoal for cooking his provisions. 
The furniture of this place consisted of a dirty round table, 
and a bottomless chair made useful by the cover of a packing- 
box. Except a few articles of broken earthenware, the shelves 
and dressers exhibited nothing but old shoes, a masquerade 
wig, cocked hat, and sword. Beside the tin flour-vessel, the 
cleanest article in the house, stood a chemist's pipkin supplied 
with soap for shaving, a brush of his own manufacture, and a 
piece of broken looking'-glass curiously inlaid in wood. This 
was evidently the only dressing and sitting room, and here also 
its extraordinary inhabitant reposed, wrapping himself up in 
an old coat, and lying upon the floor, which from the accumu- 
lated dirt and rubbish must have been softer than the bare 

Next to the kitchen was a small study, apparently long in- 
habited by spiders. The closet was full of dirty bottles, from 
which it was conjectured that Bentley had formerly been en- 
gaged in chemical pursuits. The ceiling of this room had been 
elegant, and the ground being blue, he gave it the name of the 
blue-room, by which it has already been mentioned in this nar- 
rative. The secretary and book-case contained some valuable 
works ; the counter-part was his jewelry casket, from which he 
used to indulge his female customers with little ornaments as 
presents, which never failed to be very productive in his way 
of business. 

The dining-room contained a large round mahogany table, 
at which, as Bentley related, the company were entertained at 
his christening. Here the looking glasses and pictures could 
not be distinguished from the sable walls. The antiquated 
grate, once of highly polished steel, but for many years a prey 
to consuming rust, contained nothing combustible, but seemed 
to groan under an immense burden of mortar and rubbish 
blown down the chimney. The marble sideboard, relics of 
chairs, the chimney-piece elegantly carved, and the shades 
of lustres hung round the ceiling, indicated the former respect- 


ability of the place. The carpet in this room was a curiosity^ 
for except the corner was turned up, the visitor imagined that 
he was treading on dirty hoards. One of the closets was full 
of pipkins and phials, of which Bentley charged his successor 
to be particularly careful as they contained poison enough to 
destroy half London. 

The second floor was truly a repository of rubbish and filth. 
In one of the rooms was a heap of feathers, which had been the 
contents of a bed that had fallen to pieces on being moved, and 
adjoining to this was a small apartment, once his mother's 
favourite dressing-room, but long converted into a workshop, 
and which contained the remains of a forge, work-bench, tools 
for jewellery, smith's work, japanning and other operations. 
In the passage lay all the account books of his father, who no 
doubt would have been equally mortified and irritated could 
he have returned to witness his son's proceedings. In one of 
the garrets were found fragments of a four-post bedstead, relics 
of blankets, pillows, and bedding, but no description can convey 
any idea of their rotten and filthy condition. This had evi- 
dently once been Bentley's chamber. It also contained a heap 
of old shoes and several baskets of foul cast-off linen. In 
another of the garrets was a table covered with globes and 
astronomical instruments, teleseopes, compasses, and books, and 
here Bentley is said to have spent much time in the study of 
the heavens. 

Such was the appearance of the interior of this building, 
which remained for twenty years the wonder of every spectator. 
Bentley, before he quitted the premises, was at length obliged 
to submit to the disagreeable necessity of putting them in re- 
pair. To avoid any legal discussion on the subject of dilapida- 
tions, he paid down without hesitation the sum at which the 
surveyor estimated the expense of the repairs ; but in this 
business he manifested his accustomed singularity, not suffering 
the labourers to enter the ground-floor but compelling them to 
descend into the cellar through its window, and to go up to the 
top and other parts by a ladder raised against the front, so as 
not to interrupt the business of his shop. 


In February, 1804, as we have already mentioned, Bentley 
finally quitted that house, in which for forty years he had con- 
ducted business in a manner so truly extraordinary. He then 
took a house in Jewry Street, Aldgate, where he lived for three 
years, but the landlord, not willing that it should fall a sacrifice 
to his filth, declined the renewal of the lease, and Bentley was 
again compelled to find another abode. 

From Jewry Street he removed to Leonard Street, Shore- 
ditch, taking with him a stock of spoiled goods to the amount 
of £10,000, which he soon afterwards sold in the lot for only 
£1000. With this added to £400, which he then had in the 
Bank, he might Lave secured an income fully adequate to his 
wants for the remainder of his life ; but of this prospect he was 
soon deprived, being robbed of a considerable sum by a woman 
of loose character, with whom he was imprudent enough to 
form a connexion in his old age, after having, for upwards of 
forty years, not even allowed himself a female servant. Here 
he lived for about twelve months, when, probably to divert his 
mind from the contemplation of his misfortune, he quitted it, 
and commenced a perambulation from one country place to 
another, more in the habit of a beggar than a traveller for 
pleasure. In this pedestrian excursion he journeyed as far as 
Musselburgh in Scotland, and put up at a small inn, where he 
was seized with a fever. After some time, finding his disorder 
relax, he proceeded to Haddington, a distance of ten miles from 
Musselburgh, through the exertion of which a relapse ensued. 
Quite penniless, and suffering severely from his indisposition, 
he took up his abode at the Crown Inn, where he wrote a letter 
to a friend at Sheffield, requesting a remittance of £5, which 
he soon after received. 

Although getting worse and worse he refused any medical 
aid, till the landlord, fearing his disorder might prove fatal, 
called in assistance ; but it was too late, for after lingering 
some time he expired, about the close of the year 1809, and 
was buried at Haddington church, under the superintendence 
of the magistrates, by part of whom, together with the land- 


lord of the Crown, and several of the inhabitants, his remains 
were attended to the grave. 

The whole of the expenses, including lodging, medical at- 
tendance, and burial, did not amount to £10. His £400 was 
administered to soon after his death. 

Jeffrey Dunstan, 

Mayor of Garrat. 

JEFFREY DUNSTAN, or as he was significantly called since 
his appointment to the mayoralty of Garrat, Sir Jeffrey 
Dunstan, was found in the year 1759, wrapped up in a cloth, 
at the door of a church- warden of the Parish of St. Dunstan in 
the East ; and from the superiority of the mantle he had on, 
it is likely he was the child of some respectable person who did 
not choose to own him, which is most probably the case ; but 
certain it is, no one did ever father him. When honour and 
fortune smiled on Sir Jeffrey, he never troubled himself to 
search into the secrets of the Herald's Office for family arms ; 
but in opposition to them, formed his own armorial bearings ; 
which were four wigs, and his crest, a quart pot, emblematic 
of his pursuits of life ; for he could not resist, at times, the 
temptations of London ; and he seemed to agree with a late 
learned senator, that the publicans in London, seemed to show 
their pots in the streets, as much as to say " come and steal ' 
me !" Whether our hero ever heard that sound vibrate in his 
ears, we are not informed ; but sure it is, he unwarrantedly 
made rather too free with them, for which offence he was 
kept in durance vile : hence the meaning of his crest : old wigs 
being his favourite cry through the streets, it was his wish that 
they should fill each quarter of his arms. 

Sir Jeffrey was reared in the work-house of the above parish 
till of the age of 1 2 years, when he was apprenticed for the 

ETig-raved-"bj^R Fa^e 



term of nine years to a greengrocer ; which time he did nob 
serve out ; but ran away to Birmingham, where he worked in 
several factories ; and the hard labour there, contributed to add 
to his peculiar deformity. 

Our hero again appeared in London, in the year 1776 ; and 
we believe soon after entered the holy bands of matrimony, 
with a fair nymph of the purlieux of St. Giles's, by whom he 
had two daughters, who were really fine women ; Sir Jeffrey 
was fond of his progeny, whom he called Miss Polly and Miss 
Nancy ; and they always returned the compliment, by calling 
him Papa. He was remarkably dirty in his person, and always 
had his shirt thrown open, which exposed his breast to public 
view ; and was often accompanied by his daughters. He had 
a filthy habit, when he saw a number of girls around him, to 
spit in their faces, saying, " there, go about your business." 

• The Court Calendar does not inform us when Mr. Dunstan 
received the honour of knighthood ; but we believe it was on 
the death of Sir John Harper ; which was about the time 
of the celebrated contest for Westminster in 1784, between 
Hood, Fox, and Wray; for in the spring following he was 
unanimously elected Mayor of Garrat ;* which seat he kept till 

* " The origin of the mayor and members of Garrat was thus : — 
About 1750, several persons who lived near that part of Wandsworth 
which adjoins to Garrat Lane, had formed a kind of club, not merely 
to eat and drink, but to concert measures for removing the encroach- 
ments made on that part of the common, and to prevent any others 
bping made for the future. As the members were most of them per- 
sons in low circumstances, they agreed, at every meeting, to contri- 
bute a trifle in order to make up a purse for the defence of their 
collective rights. "When a sufficient sum of money was subscribed, 
they applied to a worthy attorney in that neighbourhood, who brought 
an action against the eneroachers, in the name of the president, (or as 
they called him, the Mayor,) of the club. They gained their suit 
with costs ; the encroachments were destroyed ; and ever after, the 
president, who lived many years, was called ' The Mayor of Garrat.' 
This event happening at the time of a general election, the ceremony, 
upon every new parliament, of choosing out-door members for the 
borough of Garrat, has been constantly kept up, and is still continued 
to the great emolument of all the publicans at Wandsworth, who 
annually subscribe to all the incidental expenses attending this mock 
election." — Dr. Sughson's London and its Environs, vol. v., p. 396. 



his death • he neither bought the votes of his constituents, nor 
sold them ; he was pwre in 'politics — virtuous in his official 
capacity ! 

The cavalcade on his first election was grand in the extreme, 
he was drawn in a phaeton, decorated in all the gaudy splendour 
of magnificence : in which order they arrived at Garrat Lane, 
an insignificant dirt village in the parish of Wandsworth ; a 
place that has had the honour of giving the title of mayor to 
the most deformed and stupid of John Bull's children : the 
place well accords with the title. 

The money spent during these elections is very great; 
according to Grose, the qualification of a voter consists in his 
being able to swear on a brick-bat, that he has had an amour 
in the open air in the fields round Garrat Lane. 

It is usually expected that the candidates should speechify a 
little ; in order, therefore, to qualify them, they are taught an 
oration, which is always full of popular sentiments and pro- 
mises. The following is the speech of Sir Jeffrey Dunstan : 


" My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, 

" A landed property being the only unexceptionable qualifi- 
cation that entitles me to a seat in the august parliament of Great 
Britain, I presume my estate in the Isle of Mud will, in point of pro- 
perty, secure to me your votes and interests, to represent you in the 
ensuing parliament. Now ladies and gem'men, I propose for the good 
of mankind, to anticipate a few promises like other great men, but 
which I will strictly adhere to, that is, as long as I find it my interest 
so to do. First, in regard to his Majesty's want of money, I am deter- 
mined to make him easy on that point, (God bless him) by abolishing 
the use of it entirely, and reducing the price of gold, it being the 
worst canker to the soul of man, and the only expedient I can think 
of to prevent bribery and corruption, an evil which all the great big 
wigsoi Westminster cannot prevent, notwithstanding aty their gravity 
and knowledge, as the late proceedings against governor Green Peas 
can fully testify. Now, as' my worthy constituents may be assured, 
I shall use all my honest endeavours to get a majority in the house, 
I shall always take the popular side of the question, and yet to do all 
I can to oblige that jewel of a man, Sugar Plumb Billy, particularly 
to assist him in paying off the national debt, without wetting a sponge. 
My scheme for this, ladies and gem'men, is to unmarry all those who 


choose it, on such, terms as the minister shall think fit. This being a 
glorious opportunity for women of spirit to exert themselves, and re- 
gain their long lost empire over their husbands, whom they could 
only cuckold now and then ; I hope they will use all their coaxing 
arts to get me elected in their husbands' place ; and this will greatly 
increase the influence of the crown, and vastly lower India bonds. 

" As I detest the idea of a placeman, I pledge myself not to accept of 
anything less than the government of Duck Island, or the bishopric of 
Durham, for I am very fond of a clean shirt, and lawn sleeves I think 
look well ; besides, the sine qua non is the thing I aim at, like other 
great men. The India Company, too, I will convey from Leadenhall 
Street to "Westminster, and according to my own wig principles, I 
will create all the directors and nabob's titles, and, besides, show 
them the way to get what they have been long aiming at — the way to 
Botany Bay. And then I shall prove the Excise Office to be the 
greatest smuggle in the nation, for they smuggled the ground from 
the public on which their office stands, and for which I shall conjure 
up Old Grresham's ghost, to read them a lecture upon thieving. 

"Like other great men, I pledge my honour, life, and fortune, that 
- 1 will remove all heavy taxes by substitution, placing them upon the 
ladies of the town, whom I' will incorporate into one body, under the 
name of the sisteks, and every time they retire into their private 
apartments, they shall pay six-pence to an officer placed at the door 
for that purpose, and this, I think, will create a greater revenue than 
was ever yet brought into the Exchequer. 

"By another glorious scheme, contrived by me and my friend Lord 
George Gordon, I shall, by a philosophical, aristocratical thermo- 
meter, or such like hydraulics, discover the longitude ; yes, it will at 
last be discovered among the Jews of Duke's Place : and the secret of 
Masonry by the ladies of King's Place. 

" City honours I never coveted, nor would I give'an old wig to be 
drawn in idle state through Cheapside's foggy air on a 9th of Novem- 
ber. — No, I would rather sit by the side of my great friend Mr. Pox 
in the Duke of Devonshire's coach, and make another coalition, or go 
with him to India, and be a governor's great man ; for, 

: Hated by fools, and fools to hate, 
Was always Jeffrey Dunstan's fate. 

Though my Lord George has turned Jew, and wears a broom about 
his chin,* I never intend to do so until his informer is dead, or the 

* The. Hon. George Gordon, commonly called Lord George Gordon, 
who rendered himself so conspicuous during the riots in 1780, adopted 
in his latter days the habit and manners of a Jew. He died Novem- 
ber 1, 1793, in Newgate, where he had been confined two years, for a 
libel on the moral and political conduct of the Queen of Prance ; 
three years more for a libel on the Empress of Russia; and ten months 



time elapsed of his imprisonment in the county castle, and then we 
shall both go into Duke's Place, and he sworn true friends, as David 
and Jonathan were ; then woe be to the informing busy bookseller of 
SpitaMelds, who was lately turned out of the Snogo for keeping a 
blowing, and eating pork with the rind on. Depend upon it his win- 
dows will then chatter more Hebrew than he ever understood. And 
all this shall be done by me, in spite of him. Yes, by me, your 
humble servant, 

" Sir Jeffrey Dunstan, M.P." 

Sir Jeffrey in his perambulations had always a sack thrown 
across his shoulders, his cry being " Old "Wigs ;" hence he was 
more known in Loudon by the appellation of " Old Wigs," 
than that of the Mayor of Garrat. 

He used to sell his portrait with his speech, about the streets, 
of which he was very proud. Another print of him was pub- 
lished in the character of Dr. Last, which character he per- 
formed at the Haymarket Theatre. 

Sir Jeffrey formed many a good subject for the print shops ; 
as a ridicule on the politicians and orators of his day. He was 
represented standing on a stool, asking this question, " How 
far was it from the first of August to Westminster Bridge ?" 

His death was sudden ; for in the year 1797, being at a 
jovial meeting near Saltpetre Bank, and drinking rather more 
than his usual quantity of juniper, his companions placed him 
in a wheel-barrow, and conveyed him to his lady, in Plough 
Street, and in a few hours after, he died, smothered with 

longer for not procuring the necessary security for enlargement. 
His last moments are said to have been embittered by the knowledge 
that he could not be buried among the Jews ; to whose religion he 
was warmly attached. 

"EngiavecL"by-£ .Cooper 

i6 5 

Henry Dimsdale, 

Mayor of Garrat. 

*T^HIS poor idiot was born in Shug Lane, Haymarket, in the 
■*• year 1758. Of his early pursuits little is known; but 
we find him, in 1788, receiving parochial relief from St. Mar- 
tin's parish : his trade at that time was " vending bobbins, 
thread, and stay-laces for the ladies." He next turned muffin- 
dealer, by which he rendered himself very conspicuous about 
the streets of London. His harmless behaviour gained him 
many customers, and life rolled on gaily and smoothly, till 
" ambition fired his soul •" and he aspired to the honour of 
representing the borough of Garrat, on the death of the cele- 
brated Sir Jeffrey I)unstan, and in this he was successful. 
Sir Harry was elected to fill the important station of Mayor of 
Garrat, during four parliaments ; though not without experi- 
encing violent opposition in the persons of Squire Jobson the 
bill-sticker, Lord Goring the ministerial barber, and others. 
The following is a copy of his address to his constituents, at 
the general election, 1807 : — 


" Gentlemen, 

" Once more you are called on to exercise your invaluable 
rights, the Elective Franchise, for your ancient and honourable bor- 
ough, and once more your faithful representative, for the last three 
parliaments, offers himself a candidate. 

" Gentlemen — As all the Talents were lately dismissed, disgrace- 
fully, it is requisite I should declare to you I held no place under 
them. I am, Gentlemen, no milk and water patriot — I am no sum- 
mer insect — I have always been a champion for the rights and privi- 
leges of my constituents — and as we have now an entire change of 
men, I hope, as they are called by many all the blocks, they will see 
the necessity of calling to their aid and assistance men who have long 
been hid in obscurity — men, whose virtue and integrity may shine at 
this awful crisis. And, Gentlemen, should they at length see their 


interest so clear, as to call into action my abilities, I declare I am 
ready to accept any place under them, but I am determined to act on 
independent principles, as my 'Worthy colleague, Lord Cochrane, so 
loudly and so often swore on the hustings, at Covent Garden. 

" Gentlemen — I congratulate you on the defeat of Sixpenny Jack,* 
he was obliged to hop off and leave the laurel of victory to Sir Fran- 
cis Burdett and my worthy colleague, Lord Cochrane, and should any 
Quixotic candidate be hardy enough to contest with me, the high 
honour of representing your ancient borough, I have no doubt, by 
your manly exertions, you will completely triumph over my opponent. 
In times past, you have had confidence in my wisdom and integrity — 
you have looked up to me as your guardian angel — and I hope you 
have not been deceived, for, believe me, when I repeat what I so 
often have done, I am ready to sacrifice life, health, and fortune, in 
defence of the invaluable rights, privileges, and immunities of your 
ancient and honourable borough. 

" I am, Gentlemen, 

" Tour most obedient, humble Servant, 
"Sir Henry Dimsdale. 
" From my Attic Chamber. 
"The dirty end of Monmouth Street, 
" June 10, 1807." 

In this contest, Sir Harry was again successful, and his pro- 
cession to Grarrat Lane exceeded anything of the kind ever seen 
in London. He was placed (or rather tied) on an eminence in 
a carriage somewhat resembling a triumphal car drawn by four 
horses, which were profusely decorated with dyed wood shav- 
ings — a substitute for ribands. The dress of Sir Harry was 
perfectly en mite, and the tout ensemble, a rare display of eccen- 
tric magnificence. Solomon, in all his glory, was not more 
sumptuously arrayed than the Mayor of Garrat on this memo- 
rable day. His hat alone cost his committee the enormous sum 
of £3 10s. 

And now, for a short time, all was sunshine with Sir Harry; 
yet he found something was wanting to complete his happiness, 
and he resolved on taking to his bosom a wife ; a suitable ob- 
ject presenting herself in the person of an inmate of St. Ann's 
workhouse. In a few weeks after the consummation of their 

* Alluding to John Elliot, Esq., brewer, who was a candidate with 
Sir P. Burdett and Lord Cochrane, for the city of Westminster — at 
which time porter was sixpence a pot. 


nuptials, his rib, with the utmost good-nature, presented him 
with a son and heir, of which he was very proud. 

In Garrat Lane is a small house, which it is said should be 
occupied by the elected member for the time being ; but this 
is ordered otherwise. Sir Harry, however, used to say, that 
the matter ought to be inquired into, but he died before he was 
able to bring it forward in parliament. 

In addition to his office of mayor, he was nominated as a 
proper person to be opposed to the then all-powerful Bona- 
parte, whereupon he was elected Emperor. His garb now as- 
sumed all the show of royalty ; but unlike most monarchs, he 
carried his crown in his hand, it not being correct, he said, for 
him to wear it till he had ousted his more powerful rival. In 
this character, Sir Harry levied pretty handsome contributions 
on the good people of London ; but the novelty of his person 
at length lost most of its attractions ; he became neglected ; 
illness seized him, and he died in the year 1811, in the 53rd 
year of his age. 

By his death the boys were deprived of an object of ridicule, 
and the compassionate man spared the painful task of witness- 
ing so harmless a being tormented and ill-used by the unfeeling 
and the heedless. 

On the demise of Sir Harry, the mayoralty of Garrat was 
invested on Sir John Coke, a well-known and eccentric coster- 
monger, of Tothill Fields, Westminster. 

The greatest acquirement necessary to qualify a candidate 
for the' representation of this most noble and ancient borough, 
appears to be some great deformity, idiotism, or professed bac- 
chanalianism, for at a late election we observed in a hand-bill 
of one of the candidates, that his principal recommendation 
was his being " The tried friend of Hodges' Best ! 1 .'" — and in 
another, " The tried friend of Barclay and Coombe's 1 ! !" 


George Morland, 

A Celebrated Painter. 

T N a work, the professed object of which is to delineate the 
-*• lives and actions of eccentric and remarkable characters, 
few persons can more justly claim a place than the celebrated 
artist, George Morland. Though blest with talents, which, if 
prudently applied, might have raised him to affluence and dis- 
tinction, such was the unfortunate bent of his disposition, that 
he associated only with the meanest of mankind, and a life of 
alternate extravagance and distress was terminated by his death 
in a spunging-house. 

George Morland was born in the year 1763. His father was 
a portrait painter in crayons, and his talents, though respectable, 
were not of the first order. In early life he had made a con- 
siderable figure, but having lost much property by engaging in 
schemes not conducted with prudence, he retired from the 
world in disgust, and educated his family in that obscurity to 
which the narrowness of his circumstances confined him. 

George in his infancy is said to have manifested a predilec- 
tion for the art ; and it is certain, that in the exhibitions of 
the society of artists, to which his father belonged, were shown 
drawings by his son, when only four, five, and six years old, 
which would have done credit to youths who were learning the 
art as a profession. From this time his father obliged him to 
study, without intermission, the practice of every department 
of the art. 

He was at this period confined to an upper room, copying 
drawings, or pictures, and drawing from plaister casts. Being 
almost entirely restricted from society, all the opportunities he 
had for amusement were obtained by stealth, and his associates 
were a few boys in the neighbourhood. The means of enjoy- 
ment were obtained by such close application to his business as 
to produce a few drawings or pictures more than his father 

" '■:.-. 


Eagxa^e X"b-7- H . ^ag,' e 

<0Ig®I&©IE BflfEC&ILASO, 





imagined he could complete in a given time. These he lowered 
by a string from the window of his apartment to his youthful 
companions, by whom they were converted into money, which 
they spent in common when opportunities offered. In this 
manner passed the first seventeen years of the life of George 
Morland, and to this unremitted diligence and application he 
was indebted for the extraordinary power he possessed over 
the implements of his art. Avarice was the ruling passion of 
his father ; and this passion was so insatiable, that he kept his 
son incessantly at work, and gave him little, if any, other edu- 
cation. To this cause must doubtless be attributed all the 
irregularities of his subsequent life. 

Morland's first original compositions were dictated by his 
father. They were small pictures of two or three figures taken 
from the ballads of the day. These his father put into frames, 
and sold at different prices, from one guinea to three, according 
to the pockets of his customers. These, though infinitely in- 
ferior to his later productions, were much admired ; many fell 
into the hands of engravers, and the engravings made from 
them first brought Morland into notice. 

Some gentlemen, to whom the elder Morland was known, 
wished to patronize the youthful artist : from one he borrowed 
two capital pieces by Vernet, which George copied in an ad- 
mirable style. Mr. Angerstein permitted him to take a copy 
of Sir Joshua Eeynolds's celebrated picture of Garrick between 
Tragedy and Comedy, and on this occasion the unfortunate 
peculiarity of his disposition was strikingly displayed. The 
original was at Blackheath, whither the two Morlands went to 
copy it. Mr. Angerstein wished to notice the youth, and to 
observe the progress of the work, but he refused to begin his 
picture till he had obtained a solemn promise that he should 
be overlooked by no person whatever. The promise was 
given; he painted the picture; associated with the servants 
while he remained in the house, and no encouragement or 
entreaties could bring him into the company of the generous 
and public-spirited proprietor. 

A friend, who was going to pass the summer at Margate, 


advised old Morland to send Ms son to that place to paint por- 
traits. The plan appeared a good one, and was adopted. 
George, -with his picture of Garrick and some others, took 
lodgings for the season; customers flocked to him, his por- 
traits pleased, and he began a great number. Unfortunately, 
the society of accomplished women or rational men made him 
feel his own ignorance and insignificance, hence every one who 
sat to him was an object of disgust. The pig-races, and other 
elegant amusements projected for the lower order of visitors at 
Margate, engaged the whole of his attention, and the portraits 
were thrown aside to be completed in town. Instead of re- 
turning home with his pockets full of money, he only brought 
a large cargo of unfinished canvasses ; and as the engagements 
of the watering place are forgotten in the capital, very few of 
them were afterwards completed. 

Though, in this expedition, he obtained very little pecuniary 
advantage, he gained several points that were of considerable 
consequence. He acquired the reputation of being an artist 
who possessed considerable talents; he emancipated himself 
from paternal authority ; and instead of handing a sketch slily 
out of the window to raise a few shillings, he did what he 
pleased, and fixed what price he thought proper on his labours. 
By means of the money thus obtained, he was enabled to make 
many acquaintances, who unfortunately contributed to fix his 
character for life. The lowest among the professors of his art 
now became the companions of Morland. To these he was 
equal in intellect, and superior in talent ; he was likewise supe- 
rior to them in a circumstance which will always obtain from 
such persons what ignorant men covet, the adulation of their 
associates. A ride into the country to a smock-race or a grin- 
ning-match, a jolly dinner, and a drinking-bout after it, a mad 
scamper home with a flounce into the mud, and two or three 
other et ceteras, formed the sum of their enjoyments. Of these 
Morland had as much as he desired, and as he was the richest 
of the sect, by the community of property among such jolly 
dogs, he commonly paid for them more than his share. 

About this time Morland married, and became acquainted 


with J. E. Smith the engraver, who then dealt largely in 
prints, for whom he painted many pictures of subjects from 
the familiar scenes of life. Every one was acquainted with the 
subjects, and felt the sentiments they conveyed, so that the 
prints which Mr. Smith made from those paintings had an un- 
precedented sale, and extended Morland's fame, not only 
throughout this kingdom, but even over the continent. The 
subjects were probably suggested by Smith, as they displayed 
more sentiment than Morland ever seemed to possess. His 
peculiar talent, as it now burst forth with full splendour, was 
landscape, such as it is found in sequestered situations, and 
with appropriate animals and figures. He was extremely fond 
of visiting the Isle of Wight, and there is scarcely an object to 
be met with along the shore, at the back of the island, that his 
pencil has not delineated. His best pictures are replete with 
scenes drawn from that spot. A fine rocky shore, with fisher- 
men mending their nets, careening their boats, or sending their 
fish to the neighbouring market-towns, were scenes he most de- 
lighted in, when he attempted sea-shore pieces, and the Isle of 
Wight afforded him abundant opportunities to gratify his taste 
and .fancy j In this, his constant summer excursion, he was 
once recognised at a place called Freshwater Gate, in a low 
public-house, known by the name of the Cabin. A number of 
fishermen, a few sailors, and three or four rustics formed the 
homely group : he was in the midst of them, contributing his 
joke, and partaking of their noisy merriment, when his friend 
called him aside, and entreated his company for an hour. Mor- 
land, with some reluctance, withdrew from the Cabin ; and the 
next day, when his friend began to remonstrate on his keeping 
such company, he took from his pocket a sketch-book, and 
asked him where he was to find a true picture of humble life, 
unless in such a place as that from which his friend had taken 
him. The sketch was a correct delineation of everything in 
the Cabin tap-room, even to a countenance, a stool, a settee, or 
the position of a figure. This representation his memory had 
supplied after leaving the. house, and one of his best pictures 
is the very scene he then sketched, a proof that his mind was 


still intent on its favourite pursuit, the delineation of nature in 
her homeliest attire, though his manners at the moment be- 
trayed nothing farther than an eagerness to partake of the 
vulgar sensualities of his surrounding companions. 

During one of these excursions, a friend at whose house he 
resided, having gone to London, left an order at his departure 
with an acquaintance at Cowes, to give Morland his own price 
for such drawings or pictures as he should think proper to 
send. The gentleman intrusted with this commission, though 
highly respectable both in his moral and professional character, 
had, nevertheless, a very incompetent knowledge of, and as 
little true relish for the fine arts. Morland's pictures were 
always sent in with an accompanying solicitation for cash ac- 
cording to the nature of the subject. These demands were 
regularly complied with, until at length a small but highly 
finished drawing was transmitted with a demand, as usual, for 
a sum proportionate to its merit. Struck with the apparent 
disparity between the size of the drawing and the sum required, 
which seemed out of all proportion, the conscientious agent 
positively refused to advance a shilling until he had trans- 
mitted the drawing to his friend, who was then in London. 
This was accordingly done, and instructions were immediately 
sent back to take the drawing and as many others as the artist 
might offer at the same price. On the receipt of this liberal 
and explicit order, the agent at Cowes hastened to find out 
Morland and instantly paid the money, but not without ob- 
serving that he thought his friend deranged in his intellect. 

During Morland's stay at Yarmouth, in the Isle of Wight, 
he and his fellow travellers were apprehended as spies, when 
the former in his vindication produced several drawings which 
he had just finished at Cowes, but these the officers ingeniously 
construed into confirmations of their guilt. They were ac- 
cordingly escorted by a numerous body of soldiers and consta- 
bles to Newport, where, after being separately examined before 
the bench of justices, they were at length discharged with a 
Btrict'injunction to paint and draw no more during their stay 
in the island. 


The manner in which he painted rural subjects obtained so 
much notice, that his fortune might now have been made ; 
purchasers appeared who would have taken any number of pic- 
tures he could have painted, and paid any price for them he 
could have demanded, but here the low-bred dealers in pictures 
stepped in, and completed that ruin the low-bred artists had 
begun. His unfortunate peculiarity assisted them much in this 
plan ; the dislike he had for the society of gentlemen made him 
averse to speak to one who only wished to purchase his pic- 
tures. This peculiarity his friends the dealers took care to 
encourage to such a degree, that men of rank and fortune were 
often denied admittance to him when he was surrounded by a 
gang of harpies who pushed the glass and the joke apparently 
at the quiz who was refused admittance, but in reality at the 
fool who was the dupe of their artifices. They, in the character 
of friends, purchased of him all his pictures, which they after- 
wards sold at very advanced prices. This was carried to such 
an extent, that gentlemen who wished to obtain Morland's 
pictures ceased to apply to him for them, but applied to such 
of his friends as had any to sell ; so that he was entirely cut off 
from all connexion with the real admirers of his works, and a 
competition took place among those by whom he was sur- 
rounded, each striving to obtain possession and to exclude all 
the rest from a share in the prey. 

For this reason all were anxious to join in his country ex- 
cursions and his drinking-parties, and ' to haunt his painting- 
room in the morning, glass in hand, to obtain his friendship. 
Thus his original failing was increased, his health and his 
talents were injured, and by the united efforts of the crew, his 
gross debauchery produced idleness and a consequent embar- 
rassment of his circumstances, when he was sure to become a 
prey to some of this honest set. It frequently happened, that 
when a picture had been bespoken by one of his friends who 
advanced some money to induce him to work, if the purchaser 
did not stand by to see it finished, and carry it away with him, 
some other person, who was lurking about for the purpose, and 
knew the state of Morland's pocket, by the temptation of a few 


guineas, obtained the picture, and carried it off, leaving the 
intended purchaser to lament his loss, and to seek his remedy 
by prevailing on Morland to paint him another picture ; that 
is, when he was in the humour to work for money he had 
already spent ; in making which satisfaction he certainly was 
not very alert. Thus all were served in their turn, and though 
each exulted in the success of the trick, when he was so lucky 
as to obtain a picture in this way, yet they all joined in ex- 
claiming against Morland's want of honesty in not keeping his 

Mr. Hassell, himself an artist and the biographer of Morland^ 
had once sold one of his pictures to a gentleman, who it was 
stipulated should have the companion within a given time. 
Notwithstanding half the price of the latter was paid in ad- 
vance, and the subject had been dead-coloured, yet convinced 
that all remonstrances on the necessity of honour and punc- 
tuality in his engagements would have been ineffectual, the 
following stratagem was employed. Morland was an early 
riser, and in summer would frequently be at his easel by six in 
the morning and sometimes even sooner. Aware of this, Mr. 
Hassell procured two of his acquaintances to personate sheriffs' 
officers) whom he stationed at the White Lion, opposite to 
Morland's house at Paddington, with instructions that they 
should take their breakfast in a room of the inn directly facing 
his painting-room, and occasionally walk to and fro before the 
door. This plan being arranged, he obtained admission into 
the artist's study, where he found him as he expected, already 
at work, and requested he would then finish what he had so 
repeatedly promised ; but so far from producing any effect by 
his entreaties, the more he urged them, the more jocular Mor- 
land became on the occasion. After waiting some time Hassell 
carelessly opened a part of the shutter, as if to see the state of 
the weather, and pretended to express some surprise at two 
men who appeared to be watching the door of Morland's 
house. The artist, who was easily alarmed, and perhaps, at 
that moment, had sufficient cause for apprehension, now went 
to the window himself to reconnoitre, and instantly affirmed 


;hat they were waiting for him. He was deeply impressed 
irith this idea, which his companion endeavoured to confirm ; 
ind accordingly recommended that the door should be kept 
;losely shut, till it was ascertained whether these persons were 
ictually waiting for him, or there was some probability of their 
^oing away. He then renewed his solicitations that Morland 
would finish the picture, which he enforced by showing him 
the other moiety of the price in hard cash, care having been 
previously taken to secure the entrance of the house, and orders 
given that all comers should be answered by the servant out of 
a two pair of stairs window, that Morland had not been at 
home all night. This had the desired effect. No interruption 
occurred, and all supplies for that day being apparently cut off, 
the artist made a virtue of necessity, and finished a landscape 
and figures, one of the best pictures he ever painted, in less 
than six hours after he had dead-coloured it. Having now 
succeeded, Hassell, in order to remove his friend's apprehen- 
sions, pretended to recollect the countenance of one of the per- 
sons in waiting, and in a few minutes demonstrated to Morland 
the truth of his observations, by taking the picture, wet as it 
was, and transferring it to one of them to carry home. 

About the year 1790, Morland lived in the neighbourhood 
of Paddington. At this period he had reached the very summit 
of his merit and also of his extravagance. He kept at one 
time no less than eight saddle horses at livery, at the sign of 
the White Lion, opposite to his house, and was absurd enough 
to wish to be considered as a horse-dealer. Frequently horses 
for which one day he would give thirty or forty guineas, he 
would sell the next for less than half that sum ; but as the 
honest fraternity of horse-dealers knew their man, and would 
take his note at two months, he could the more easily indulge 
this propensity, and appear for a short time in cash, until the 
day of payment came, when a picture was produced as a dou- 
ceur for the renewal of the notes. 

This was one source of calamity which neither his industry, 
for which he was remarkable, nor his talents were by any means 
adequate to counterpoise. His wine-merchant, who was also 


a gentleman in the discounting line, would sometimes obtain a 
picture worth fifty pounds for the renewal of a bill. By this 
conduct he heaped folly upon folly to such a degree, that a 
fortune of ten thousand a year would have proved insufficient 
for the support of his waste and prodigality. 

No man was more accessible to flattery than Morland, and 
the more gross was the mode in which it was served up, the 
more highly was it relished. If an ostler or post-boy applauded 
his observations he was sure to be touched in the palm with 
half-a-crown, or perhaps to receive a pair of leather breeches 
little the worse for wear. His acquaintances of this cast were 
so numerous, that there was scarcely a driver on the north 
road, within fifty miles of London, that was not known to him ; 
nor was there a blood-horse of any note whose pedigree and 
performances he could not relate with astonishing facility. 

An inn at Highgate, where the sovereign judges of the whip 
generally stopped on their return to the country, to refresh 
themselves and their horses, was a favourite resort of Morland's. 
There he used to take his stand, and there indeed he was com- 
pletely at home ; receiving the compliments of every one that 
offered them, in return for which he always considered it his 
duty to pay the reckoning. With a pipe in his mouth he would 
frequently parade before the door of this house, and haij the 
carriages as they passed in succession before him ; and from 
being so well known he was generally greeted in return with a 
familiar salute from the postilion. The consequence he at- 
tached to this species of homage, as an illustration of his great 
merit, was such as almost to exceed belief. 

Among other instances of his eccentricity the following is 
given by Mr. Hassell. — " A lady, whose sister the writer after- 
wards married, went with her husband, in consequence of ill 
health, to reside at Paddington, and had been promised a suck- 
ing pig by Morland, who was intimate with the family. As 
the writer was walking towards Paddington, one summer's 
morning, to inquire concerning the health of his relative, he 
observed a man posting before him with a pig, which he held 
in his arms as if it had been a child. The piteous squeaks of 


the little animal, unaccustomed to such a mode of conveyance, 
attracted the notice of numerous spectators, both from the 
doors and windows, as he passed along. Struck with the 
laughable conduct of the bearer of the pig, the writer deter- 
mined to follow him, as the adventure promised some humour, 
and the more so as the pig-bearer would set the pig down to 
every dog that barked, and there were not a few, and pitt him 
against the dog. From this a chase would sometimes ensue, 
and the pig-hunter having overtaken the animal, would hastily 
snatch it up and jog on as before. In this manner he pursued 
his course through several of the streets of Marylebone till he 
reached the house of the writer's friend, where to his no small 
surprise, the man with the pig knocked and readily obtained 
admittance. Conceiving him to be some person connected with 
the people of the house, the writer thought of nothing but 
creating a laugh by reciting the singularity of the adventure ; 
but how great was his astonishment upon entering the dining- 
room to find this original character, with the pig yet under his 
arm, introduced to him as Mr. Morland the painter." 

It was about the year 1790 that our artist, who was lineally 
descended from Sir Samuel Morland, an eminent mathematician 
of the seventeenth century, was assured by his solicitor that he 
was the undoubted heir to the dormant baronetage, and was 
advised to assert his claim. He, however, sagaciously re- 
marked, that plain George Morland would always sell his pic- 
tures as well, and obtain him as much respect, as if Sir was 
prefixed to it j for there was more honour in being a fine painter 
than in being a fine gentleman. George's aversion to fashion- 
able life was probably a strong motive for his renouncing this 

Mr. Hassell, in his memoirs of the life of this eminent artist, 
relates two circumstances in which his love of low company 
subjected Morland's pride to sensible mortification. 

One day Mr. J. E. Smith, by whom Morland was then em- 
ployed, called in company with Mr. J. Bannister to see what 
progress he had made in a picture which was upon the easel. 
Satisfied with what he saw, Mr. Smith was about to take his 



leave, when Morland proposed to accompany him in his morn- 
ing's ride, which Mr. Smith declined, saying, in an abrupt and 
emphatic tone, " I have an appointment with a gentle/mam who 
is waiting for me." Morland immediately felt the keenness of 
the shaft levelled at him, and understood the insinuation that 
he was not a fit companion for Mr. Smith or Mr. Bannister, and 
gave vent to his splenetic humour in the most vulgar and in- 
decent language. 

The other was a more humorous occurrence, and originated 
in an invitation which Morland had received from a gentleman 
who resided at Hadley, and who agreed to meet him at High 
gate. There were some other gentlemen in company, and 
among the rest Mr. Hassell, who relates the anecdote. On 
their way to Barnet they had reached the turnpike-gate at 
Whetstone, when a kind of lumber or jockey-cart intercepted 
their progress, and two persons seated in the vehicle were seen 
disputing with the gate-keeper about the toll. In consequence 
of this interruption there was only room for one horse to pass 
at a time. Morland was endeavouring to make good his way, 
when one of the gentlemen in the cart, looking up, vociferated : 
" Vat, Mr. Morland, vorit you speak to a body ?' It was particu- 
larly observed that the artist endeavoured to shun this greet- 
ing, and wished to pass on in silence ; but his old friend was 
not to be put off so easily, and still continued bawling out to 
him, until at length he was obliged to recognise his companion 
and crony, Mr. Hooper, the tinman and celebrated pugilist, 
who by this time had extended his hand to give Morland a 
hearty fraternal shake. He had no sooner done this, than 
turning to his comrade, the charioteer, he introduced a chim- 
ney-sweeper to Morland's notice, calling out, " Vy, Dick, don't 
you know this here gemman ? 'Tis my friend Mr. Morland." The 
sooty knight instantly put out his hand and forced the officious 
welcome upon Morland, notwithstanding the latter made many 
awkward attempts to avoid the squeeze. The chagrin he 
manifested upon this occasion clearly evinced that his pride 
was very sensibly hurt, if, indeed, he ever possessed what 
may be termed virtuous and commendable pride, for he always 


endeavoured to clear himself from the imputation of this ren- 
contre with his brother of the brush, by declaring that the 
tinman had forced his company upon him, and that the chim- 
ney-sweeper was a perfect stranger to him ; which, however, 
considering Morland's habits, was not a very probable case, 
nor was it easily accredited. 

Morland's dress and equipage at this period were completely 
changed from the affectation of excessive foppery to the appear- 
ance of extreme neatness. Scarcely a week elapsed but he 
sported a pair of new gloves and leather breeches, so that on 
the last-mentioned occasion it was ludicrous to observe him 
with a clean glove on one hand and the marks of the sooty 
squeeze on the other. This was a joke which he never liked 
to hear repeated, though, for a considerable time afterwards, 
sweeps, your honour, was a standing jest among his friends, and 
never failed to make the laugh go round. 

In one of Morland's excursions from London, he was sur- 
prised by a friend seated in the midst of the smuggling crew 
of the celebrated Johnson. In the centre of this motley 
group was placed a half anker of gin, into which each of the 
company, dipping a glass tumbler, drank off his quota, and 
then passed it to his neighbour. Morland also, when it came 
to his turn, quaffed his portion with as much pleasure as any of 
the rest, nor was it till the keg was drained that he left his 
, associates. It was a sort of hobby-horse that led him into this 
'ow company. He was extremely vain when he could be 
thought a person of consequence among such rabble ; but in 
the end he smarted for his weakness. He endeavoured to 
assume the same character as his associates, and the liberty 
and coarse freedom with which he was in consequence greeted, 
frequently made him ridiculous. 

In the course of the years 1790 — 1792, when Morland's 
best pictures were produced, a host- of admiring dealers 
were complaisant enough to offer him any pecuniary assistance 
he might deem it expedient to accept. Morland, who had a 
wonderful alacrity at borrowing without scruple or hesitation, 
embraced their offers indiscriminately," for there was scarcely 



one of these liberal friends whose purse he did not make free 
with, and that, too, almost at the same time and on the 
same occasion. 

Having received an invitation from Claude Lorrain Smith, 
Esq., to visit him at his seat at Enderby, in Leicestershire, the 
purse he had thus collected very opportunely served his purpose. 
Accompanied by one of his trusty friends, commonly known 
by the appellation of Dirty Brookes, a notorious debauchee, 
who fell a sacrifice to his excess, away he set out upon this 
rural excursion. This journey was kept a profound secret from 
his accommodating friends the picture dealers, and his absence 
consequently excited a considerable deal of alarm, which was 
not a little augmented by a report industriously circulated, as 
a good joke, by one of his waggish companions, that he was 
gone to France. The sudden shock which this intelligence oc- 
casioned, proceeded less from the apprehension of losing the 
sums they had lent him, than from the disappointment of their 
speculative schemes. It would require the spirit of Hogarth's 
pencil correctly to depict the lengthened countenances of these 
outwitted speculators when they first compared notes together. 
It was, however, unanimously agreed to make all possible in- 
quiries about the artist, who meanwhile was priding himself on 
having thus taken in the knowing ones. 

No sooner had he returned from this excursion, than he 
found his picture and horse-dealing friends very solicitous to 
renew their visits. This, however, he would not encourage, 
but from this moment studiously avoided all society, and with 
only a single crony to hawk his pictures about the town, was 
invisible for months together. 

So strongly was the mind of this ill-fated artist impressed 
with the idea that he should become an inhabitant of a gaol, 
that he actually visited the King's Bench Prison incog, to ascer- 
tain how he should like confinement ; yet, so great was his 
dread of the apprehended evil, that he declared nothing but 
absolute necessity should ever compel him to a surrender of his 

It was now that he began to feel the ill effects of having hi" 


volved himself in debt. If he walked the streets, he was sure 
to be dogged, or to imagine himself dogged by some lurking 
creditor, before he could reach his habitation, where, notwith- 
standing all his precautions, he was frequently discovered. 
Whenever he surmised this to be the case, he would suddenly 
decamp, and in a few days his trusty dependents would be 
despatched to fetch away his implements. 

The consequences attendant on the imprudence of Morland's 
conduct were frequent distress, the spunging-house, and the 
gaol, except he had the good fortune to escape into a retire- 
ment unknown to all but some trusty dealer, who, for the time, 
took all his works, and paid him a stipulated sum for his sup- 
port. On one occasion, to avoid his creditors, he retired from 
public observation, and lived in great obscurity near Hackney. 
Home of the neighbours, from his extreme privacy and other 
circumstances, entertained a notion that he was either a coiner 
or a fabricator of forged Bank notes, which suspicion being com- 
municated to the Bank, the directors sent some police-officers to 
search the house, and if any indications of guilt should appear, 
to take the offender into custody. As they approached they 
were observed by Morland, who, naturally concluding them to 
be a bailiff and followers in quest of himself, immediately re- 
treated into the garden, went out at a back door, and ran over 
the brick-fields towards Hoxton, and then to London. Mrs. 
Morland, trembling, opened the front door, when the police- 
officers entered, and began to search the house. An explana- 
tion took place ; she assured them, with unaffected simplicity, 
evidently the result of truth, that they were mistaken, and in- 
formed them of the cause of his flight. As they discovered in 
the house little more than some excellent unfinished pictures, 
which excited in them some respect and admiration, they said 
they were convinced of the mistake, and retired. On commu- 
nicating the result of their search to the directors, and inform- 
ing them that they had made no discovery of bank notes, but 
that it was the retreat of Morland the painter, and giving them 
an account of his flight to avoid them as bailiffs, the directors 
commiserating the pecuniary embarrassment of this unfortu- 


nate genius, and to compensate the trouble they had uninten- 
tionally given, generously presented him with forty pounds. 

It has been related that at another time he was found in a 
lodging in Somers-town, in the following extraordinary circum- 
stances. His infant child, that had been dead nearly three 
weeks, lay in its coffin in one corner of the room ; an ass and 
her foal stood munching barley-straw out of the cradle ; a sow 
and pigs were solacing themselves in the recess of an old cup- 
board, and he himself was whistling over a beautiful picture 
that he was finishing at his easel, with a bottle of gin hung up 
on one side, and a live mouse sitting, or rather kicking, for his 
portrait on the other. This story has, however, been positively 
contradicted by his biographer, who says : " As for that part of 
it which relates to the child, we ^can positively assert that he 
never had one : the rest of the story may in some parts be 
true; for when he lived in the Lambeth Eoad, he had an 
inmate of the long-eared tribe, and a few other singular lodgers : 
but that any person who ever knew Morland could have sup- 
posed him bold enough to stay in a room with a corpse by him- 
self is perfectly ridiculous. He was remarkably timid, and so 
nervous that he never attempted to exercise his profession till 
he had drunk sufficient to subdue the irritability resulting from 
his over-night's excess. " 

The department of his art in which Morland shone forth in 
all his glory, was picturesque landscape. For about seven 
years that he painted such subjects he was in his prime, and 
though the figures he introduced were of the lower order, yet 
they were consistent with the scenes, and had nothing that 
created disgust ; but when his increasing irregularities led him 
from the woodside to the ale-house, his subjects assumed a 
meaner cast, as they partook of the meanness of his society, for 
he still painted what he saw. Stage-coachmen, postilions, and 
drovers drinking, were honoured by his pencil ; his sheep were 
changed for pigs ; and at last, with the true feeling of a disciple 
of Circe, he forsook the picturesque cottage, and the woodland 
scenery, and never seemed happy but in a pig-stye. At this 
time one of his most favourite resorts was the top of Gray's 


Inn Lane, where it opens into the fields ; there he might he 
seen for hours together, amidst the accumulations of ashes and 
filth, quaffing copious draughts of his ordinary beverage, and 
sketching the picturesque forms of nightmen, dustmen and 
cinder-wenches, pigs, half-starved asses, and hacks in training 
for the slaughter-house. 

Morland's embarrassments were far from producing any 
change of his conduct, and at length conducted him, through 
the hands of a bailiff, into that confinement of which he had 
entertained such well-grounded apprehensions. This, however, 
did not render him unhappy, but rather afforded him an oppor- 
tunity of indulging, without control, all his favourite propen- 
sities. There he could mingle with such companions as were 
best adapted to his taste ; there, in his own way, he could reign 
and revel surrounded by the very lowest of the low. His 
constant companion in this theatre of indolence and dissipation 
was a person who went under the familiar appellation of My 
Dicky. This Dicky, a waterman by occupation, was his confi- 
dant and picture salesman. If accident detained the purchaser 
of a bespoke picture beyond the time he had stipulated to send 
for it, My Dicky was always at hand to carry it forthwith to the 
pawnbroker's. To one of these places Morland once despatched 
this man with the picture of a farm-yard, on which he demanded 
three guineas, and as the picture was wet from the easel, he 
requested that particular care should be taken not to injure it. 
Too much care sometimes defeats its intention; this might 
possibly have been the case in the present instance, for while 
the pawnbroker was going up stairs to convey the picture to a 
place of security, his foot unfortunately slipped, and his clothes 
coming in contact with the canvas, totally obliterated the head 
and forepart of a hog. The dealer in money, unable to remedy 
this accident, returned the painting with a polite note, apolo- 
gising for the accident, and requesting the artist to restore the 
head of the animal and retouch the damaged parts. This, to 
use Morland's language upon the occasion, was a good one. No 
sooner was the picture again in his possession, than he made a 
peremptory demand of five guineas for complying with the 


request of the pawnbroker, accompanying this demand with an 
intimation that if the picture was not returned in as perfect a 
state as when it was sent, he should commence an action 
against the pawnbroker for the recovery of thirty pounds, the 
value at which he estimated it. In this dilemma, the latter 
thought it most prudent to comply with the demand, and in 
less than an hour the whole business was adjusted to their 
mutual satisfaction. 

Morland, when distressed, was never barren in expedients, 
as the following whimsical circumstance will serve to demon- 
strate. He had been making sketches of the coast near Deal, 
and was returning to town on foot, accompanied by his brother- 
in-law, Mr. "Ward, the engraver. The extravagant humours of 
the preceding evening had drained their exchequer of every 
shilling. Morland began to feel the calls of nature for refresh- 
ment, but the difficulty was how to procure it. Observing a 
low-built house by the road side, over which was placed an 
animal intended for a bull, our artist, who was seldom at a loss 
for a pretext to enter a public-house, went in, and under the 
plea of inquiring the way, expressed his surprise to the land- 
lord that he did not renew his sign, which time had nearly 
defaced. Boniface alleged his inability to get it repaired on 
account of the charge, observing that it was good enough for 
his humble dwelling ; but Morland offering to paint him a new 
one for five shillings, he immediately acquiesced, and commis- 
sioned him to make a trial of his skill. A new difficulty now 
occurred. Morland was without implements, which could not 
be procured at a smaller distance than Canterbury, to which 
place the landlord was, with some difficulty, prevailed upon to 
send. In the mean time the travellers had bespoken a dinner, 
exhausted several pitchers of good ale, and taken at least a 
quantum sufficit of spirits, all which could not be paid for by 
painting the sign. Instead of five shillings, the sum contracted 
for, the reckoning amounted, before the bull was finished, to 
ten, and the chagrined landlord reluctantly suffered the 
travellers to depart on Morland's explaining who he was, and 
promising to call and pay on a future day. Their host had, 


however, no reason to repent of his bargain ; for Morland, on 
his arrival in London, having related this adventure at one of 
his usual places of resort, the singularity of the story induced a 
gentleman, who entertained the highest opinion of his perform- 
ances, to set off privately in quest of the Bull, which he pur- 
ehased of the landlord for ten guineas. 

About three years before his death Morland received a severe 
stroke from the palsy, which gave so rude a shock to his whole 
frame, intellectual and corporeal, that, sometimes while in the 
act of painting he would fall back senseless in his chair, or sleep 
for hours together. 

When in confinement, and even sometimes when he was at 
liberty, it was common for him to have four guineas a day and 
his drink, an object of no small consequence, as he began to 
drink before he began to paint, and continued to do both alter- 
nately till he had painted as much as he pleased, or till the 
liquor had completely overcome him, when he claimed his 
money, and business was at an end for that day. This laid 
his employer under the necessity of passing his whole time with 
him, to keep him in a state fit for work, and to carry off the 
day's work when it was done ; otherwise some eaves-dropper 
snapped up his picture, and he was left to obtain what redress 
he could. 

By this conduct, steadily pursued for many years, he ruined 
his constitution, diminished his powers, and sunk himself into 
general contempt. He had no society, nor did he wish for 
any, but that of the lowest of those beings whose only enjoy- 
ment is gin and ribaldry, and from which he was taken by a 
Marshalsea writ for a trifling sum. When removed to a place 
of confinement, he called for a large quantity of spirits, which 
he hastily swallowed, and soon became delirious, in which state 
he lay some days, raving violently, and the subject of his ex- 
clamation was his deep regret for his domestic misconduct. In 
this dreadful state, he expired in agony on the 29th October, 
1804, in the fortieth year of his age. His remains were re- 
moved to the house of Mr. W. Ward, who, with Mr. J. Ward, 
at the request of his relations, accompanied them to the grave. 


All of them had often witnessed his declaring for " a short 
and a merry one." A short life he had, but merriment was 
by far its smallest portion ; his death was such as such a life 
commonly ensures. 

The death of the amiable and unfortunate Mrs. Morland 
was not less afflicting. She had been used to say, " I know my 
friends wish George dead, and think that I shall be happy, but 
they do not know what they wish for : whenever that happens 
I shall not live three days after." A prediction which was but 
too completely realized. 

Thus perished George Morland, whose best works will com- 
mand esteem so long as any taste for the art remains ; whose 
ordinary productions will please so long as any love for a just 
representation of what is natural can be found ; and whose 
talents might have ensured him happiness and merited distinc- 
tion, if his entrance into life had been guided by those who 
were able and willing to caution him against the snares which 
are continually preparing by interested knavery for the inexpe- 
rience of youth. 

Joanna Southeott, 

An Extraordinary Fanatic. 

THIS woman was born at Gettisham in Devonshire. She 
was the daughter of William and Hannah Southeott ; 
her father was in the farming line, and both her parents were 
professed members of the Established Church. 

The first forty years of her life were passed in honest in- 
dustry, sometimes as a servant, at others working at the uphol- 
sterers' business, without any other symptom of a disordered 
intellect than that she was zealously attached to the methodists. 
She mentions in one of her books a preacher who frequented " 
her master's house, and, according to her account, lived in 
habits of adultery with the wife, trying at the same time to 

C'_j4/,'- ' 'Clvr/la^Jt/y/ian/ ' ,_ 7'k^a^r 


debauch the daughter, while the husband vainly attempted to 
seduce Joanna herself. Thig preacher used to terrify all who 
heard him in prayer, and to make them shriek out convulsively. 
He said that he had sometimes, at a meeting, made the whole 
congregation lie stiff upon the floor till he had got the evil 
spirits out of them ; that there never was a man so highly 
favoured of God as himself; that -he would not thank God to 
make him anything, unless he made him greater than any man 
upon earth, and gave him power above all men; and he 
boasted, upon hearing of the death of one who had censured 
him, that he had fasted and prayed three days and three nights, 
beseeching God to take vengeance upon that man, and send 
him to eternity. Where such impious bedlamites as these are 
allowed to walk abroad, it is not to be wondered at that mad- 
ness should become epidemic. Joanna Southcott lived in a 
house which this man frequented, and where, notwithstanding 
his infamous life, his pretensions to supernatural gifts were ac- 
knowledged, and he was accustomed to preach and pray. The 
servants all stood in fear of him. Joanna says, he had no 
power over her, but she used to think the room was full of 
spirits when he was in prayer ; and he was so haunted that he 
never could sleep in a room bjfchimself, for he said his wife came 
every night to trouble him. She was perplexed about him, 
fully believing that he wrought miracles, and wondering by 
what spirit he wrought them. After she became a prophetess 
herself, she discovered that this gentleman was the false pro- 
phet in the Eevelation, who is to be taken with the beast, and 
cast alive with him into a lake of burning brimstone. 

Four persons wrote to Joanna upon the subject of her pre- 
tended mission, each calling himself Christ ! One Mr. Leach, 
a methodist preacher, told her to go to the Lord in his name, 
and tell the Lord that ■ he said her writings were inspired by 
the devil. These circumstances show how commonly delusion, 
blasphemy, and madness, are to be found in this country, and 
may lessen our wonder at the frenzy of Joanna and her fol- 
lowers. Her own career began humbly, with prophecies con- 
cerning the weather, such as the popular English Almanacs 


contain ; and threats concerning the fate of Europe, and the 
successes of the French, which were at that time the specula- 
tions of every newspaper, and of every alehouse politician. Some 
of these guesses having chanced to be right, the women of the 
family in which she then worked at the upholstering business, 
began to lend ear to her ; and she ventured to submit her 
papers to the judgment of one Mr. Pomeroy, the clergyman 
whose church she attended in Exeter. He listened to her with 
timid curiosity, rather wanting courage than credulity to be- 
come her disciple ; received from her certain sealed prophecies 
which were at some future time to be opened, when, as it would 
be seen that they had been accomplished, they would prove the 
truth of her inspiration ; and sanctioned, or seemed to sanction, 
her design of publishing her call to the world. But in this 
publication his own name appeared, and that in such a manner 
as plainly to imply, that, if he had not encouraged her to print, 
he had not endeavoured to prevent her from so doing. His 
eyes were immediately open to his own imprudence, whatever 
they may have been to the nature of her call ; and he obtained 
her consent to insert an advertisement in the newspaper with 
her signature, stating that he had said it was the work of the 
devil. But here the parties were at issue : as the advertise- 
ment was worded, it signified that the clergyman always said 
her calling was from the devil ; on the other hand, Joanna and 
her witnesses protest that what she had signed was merely an 
acknowledgment that he had said, after her book was printed, 
the devil had instigated her to print his name in it. This would 
not be worthy of mention, if it were not for the very extraordi- 
nary situation into which this gentleman brought himself. 
Wishing to be clear of the connexion in which he had so 
unluckily engaged, he. burnt the sealed papers which had been 
entrusted to his care. From that time all the Joannians re- 
garded him as the arch-apostate. He was the Jehoiakim who 
burnt Jeremiah's roll of prophecies ; he was their Judas Isca- 
riot, a second Lucifer, son of the Morning. They called upon 
him to produce these prophecies, which she boldly asserted, 
and they implicitly believed, had all been fulfilled, and there- 


fore -would convince the world of the truth of her mission. In 
vain did Mr. Pomeroy answer that he had burnt these unhappy- 
papers : in an unhappy hour for himself did he bum them ! 
Day after day long letters were despatched to him, sometimes 
from Joanna herself, sometimes from her brother, sometimes 
from one of her four-and-twenty elders, filled with exhortation, 
invective, texts of Scripture, and denunciations of the law in 
this world, and the devil in the next; and these letters the 
prophetess printed for this very sufficient reason — that all her 
believers purchased them. Mr. Pomeroy sometimes treated 
them with contempt ; at other times he appealed to their com- 
passion, and besought them, if they had any bowels of Chris- 
tian charity, to have compassion on him and let him rest, and 
no longer add to the inconceivable and irreparable injuries 
which they had already occasioned him. If he was silent it 
was no matter : still they sent him letters, and continued 
printing copies of all which they wrote ; and when he was 
worried into replying, his answers also served to swell Joanna's 
books. In this manner was this poor man, because he had re- 
covered his senses, persecuted by a crazy prophetess and her four- 
and-twenty crazy elders, who seemed determined not to desist, 
till one way or other they had made him as ripe for Bedlam as 
they were themselves. 

The books which she sent into the world were written partly 
in prose, partly in rhyme, all the verse and the greater part of 
the prose being delivered in the character of the Almighty ! 
It is not possible to convey an adequate idea of this unparalleled 
and unimaginable nonsense by any other means than literal 
transcript. Her hand-writing was illegibly bad; so that at 
last she found it convenient to receive orders to throw away 
the pen, and deliver her oracles orally ; and the words flowed 
from her faster than her scribes could write them down. This 
may be well believed, for they were words and nothing else : a 
mere rhapsody of texts, vulgar dreams and vulgar interpre- 
tations, vulgar types and vulgar applications — the vilest string 
of words in the vilest doggerel verse, which has no other con- 
nexion than what the vilest rhymes have suggested, she vented 


and her followers received as the dictates of immediate inspi- 
ration. A herd, however, was ready to devour this garbage as 
the bread of life. 

The clergy in her own neighbourhood were invited by her, 
in private letters, to examine her claims, but they treated her 
with contempt. The bishop also did not choose to interfere ; 
of what avail, indeed, would it have been to have examined 
her, when they had no power to silence her blasphemies ? She 
found believers at a distance. Seven men came from different 
parts of the country to examine — that is, to believe in her ; 
these were her seven stars ; and when at another time seven 
more arrived upon the same wise errand, she observed, in allu- 
sion to one of those vulgar sayings from which all her allusions 
are drawn, that her seven stars were come to fourteen. Among 
these early believers were three clergymen, one of them a man 
of fashion, fortune, and noble family. It is not unlikely, that 
the woman at first suspected the state of her own intellect : 
her letters appear to indicate this ; they express a humble 
submission to wiser judgments than her own ; and could she 
have breathed the first thoughts of delusion into the ear of 
some pious confessor, it is more than probable that she would 
have soon acknowledged her error at his feet, and the frenzy 
which infected thousands would have been cut off on its first 
appearance. But, when she found that persons into whose 
society nothing else could have elevated her, listened to her with 
reverence, believed all her ravings, and supplied her with 
means and money to spread them abroad, it is not to be 
wondered at if she went on more boldly ; — the lucrativencss 
of the trade soon silencing all doubts of the truth of her inspi- 

Some of her foremost adherents were veterans in credulity ; 
they had been initiated in the mysteries of animal magnetism, 
had received spiritual circumcision from Brothers, and were 
thus doubly qualified for the part they were to act in this new 
drama of delusion. To accommodate them, Joanna confirmed 
the authenticity of this last fanatic's mission, and acknowledged 
him as King of the Hebrews, — but she dropped his whole mytho- 


logy. Her heresy in its main part is not new. The opinion 
that redemption extended to men only, and not to women, had 
been held by a Norman in the sixteenth century, as well as by 
the fair English heretic already mentioned. This man, in a 
book called Virgo Veneta, maintained that a female Eedeemer 
was necessary for the daughters of Eve, and announced an old 
woman of Venice, of his acquaintance, as the Saviour of her 
sex. Bordonius, a century ago, broached even a worse heresy. 
In a work upon miracles, printed at Parma, he taught that 
women did not participate in the atonement, because they were 
of a different species from man, and [were incapable of eternal 
life. Joanna and her followers were too ignorant to be ac- 
quainted with these her prototypes in blasphemy ; and the 
whole merit of originality in her system must be allowed her, 
as indeed she exceeded her forerunners in the audacity of her 
pretensions. She boldly asserted that she was the woman 
in the Revelations, who has the moon under her feet, and on 
her head a crown of twelve stars ; the twelve stars being her 
twelve apostles, who with the second dozen of believers make 
up her four-and-twenty elders. In her visitation it was told 
her, that the angels rejoiced at her birth, because she was born 
to deliver both men and angels from the insults of the devil. 
The scheme of redemption, she said, was completed in her, 
and without her would be imperfect ; by woman came the 
fall of man, by woman must come his redemption ; woman 
plucked the evil fruit, and woman must pluck the good fruit ; 
if the tree of knowledge was violated by Eve, the tree . of life 
was reserved for Joanna. Eve was a bone from Adam ; she 
was a bone from Christ, the second Adam. She was the 
bride, the promised seed who was to bruise the serpent's head ; 
she also claimed the promise made at the creation, that woman 
should be the helpmate of man ; and by her the Creator ful- 
filled that promise, and acquitted himself of the charge of 
having given to man the woman in vain. The evening- star 
was placed in the firmament to be her type. While she arro- 
gated so much to herself, she was proportionally liberal to her 
followers ; they were appointed to the four-and-twenty elder- 


ships : and to one of them, when he died, a higher character 
was more blasphemously attributed ; she assured his relations 
that he was gone to plead the promises before the Lord ; that 
to him was to be given the key of the bottomless pit, and that 
the time was at hand when he should be seen descending in 
the air, — for they knew not the meaning of Our Saviour's words 
when he said, " Ye shall see the Son of Man coming in the 
clouds, in power and great glory." 

The immediate object of her call was to destroy the devil : 
of this the devil was aware ; and, that it might not be said he 
had had foul play, a regular dispute of seven days was agreed 
on between him and Joanna, in which she was to be alone, and 
he to bring with him as many of the Powers of Darkness as he 
pleased : but he was not to appear visibly, for as he did not 
choose to make his appearance on a former occasion when some 
of her elders went to give him the meeting, but had disap- 
pointed them, he was not to be permitted to manifest himself 
bodily now. The conditions were, that, if she held out her 
argument against him for seven days, the woman should be 
freed and he fall ; but, if she yielded, Satan's kingdom was to 
stand, and a second fall of the human race would be the conse- 
quence. Accordingly, she went alone into a solitary house for 
this conference. Joanna was her own secretary upon this oc- 
casion, and the process verbal of the conference was printed, 
as literally taken down ; for she was ordered to set down all 
his blasphemies, and show to the world what the language of 
hell is. It is by no means a polite language ; — indeed the pro- 
ficiency which Satan displays in the vulgar tongue is sur- 

Of all Joanna's books this is the most curious. Satan brought 
a friend with him, and they made up a story for themselves, 
which has some ingenuity. "It is written," said they, "Be 
'still, and know that I am God ;" this still worship did not suit 
Satan ; he was a lively cheerful spirit, full of mirth and gaiety, 
which the Lord could not bear, and therefore cast him out of 
heaven. This, according to Apollyon's account of heaven, 
could have been no great evil. " Thou knowest," he says, " it 


is written of God, He is a consuming fire, and who can dwell in 
everlasting burnings ? Our backs are not brass, nor our sinews 
iron, to dwell with God in Heaven." The heaven, therefore, 
which men mistakenly desire, is in its nature the very hell of 
which they are so much afraid ; and it is sufficient proof of the 
truth of all this, that the devil invites them to make themselves 
happy and lead a gay life, agreeably to his own cheerful dispo- 
sition ; whereas, religion enjoins self-denial, penitence, and all 
things which are contrary to our natural inclinations. Satan 
accounted to Joanna for her inspiration by this solution : an 
evil spirit had loved her from her youth up ; he found there 
was no other access to her heart than by means of religion ; 
and, being himself able to foresee future events, imparted this 
knowledge to her in the character of a good spirit. This spirit, 
he said, was one which she had been well acquainted with ; it 
was that of one Mr. Follart, who had told her, if she would 
not have him for a husband, he should die for her sake ; and 
he died accordingly. But this deception had now been carried 
so far, that Satan was angry, and threatened, unless she broke 
her seals and destroyed her writings, he would tear her in 

The conference terminated like most theological disputes. 
Both parties grew warm. Apollyon interfered, and endea- 
voured to accommodate matters, but without effect, and Joanna 
talked Satan out of. all patience. She gave him, as he truly 
complained, ten words for one, and allowed him no time to 
speak. All men, he said, were tired of her tongue already ; 
and now she had tired the devil. This was not unreasonable ; 
but he proceeded to abuse the whole sex, which would have 
been ungracious in any one, and in him was ungrateful. He 
said no man could tame a woman's tongue — the sands of an 
hour-glass did not run faster — it was better to dispute with a 
thousand men than with one woman. After this dispute she 
fasted forty days ; but this fast, which was regarded by her 

' believers as so miraculous, was merely a Catholic Lent, in which 

: she abstained from fish and flesh. 



Once, when the Lord made her the same promise as Herod 
had done to Herodias, she requested that Satan might be cut 
off from the face of the earth, as John the Baptist had been. 
This petition she was instructed to write, and seal it with three 
seals, and carry it to the altar when she received the sacrament { 
and a promise was returned that it should be granted. Her 
dreams were usually of the devil. Once she saw him like a 
pig with his mouth tied ; at another time skinned his face with 
her nails after a fierce battle ; once she bit off his fingers, and 
thought the blood sweet — and once she dreamt she had fairly 
killed him. But neither has the promise of his destruction 
been as yet fulfilled, nor the dream accomplished. 

This frenzy would have been speedily cured in Spain; 
bread and water, a solitary cell, and a little wholesome disci-? 
pline, are specifics in such cases. Mark the difference in Eng- 
land. No bishop interferes ; she therefore boldly asserted that 
she had the full consent of the bishops to declare that her call 
was from God, because, having been called upon to disprove it, 
they kept silent. She, who was used to earn her daily bread 
by daily labour, was taken into the houses of her wealthy 
believers, regarded as the most blessed among women, carried 
from one part of England to another, and treated everywhere 
with reverence little less than idolatry. Meantime, dictating 
books as fast as her scribes could write them down, and pub- 
lishing them as fast as they were written, the Joannians bought 
them as fast as they were published. This was not her only 
trade. The seals in the Eevelations furnished her with a 
happy hint. She called upon all persons "to sign their names 
for Christ's glorious and peaceable kingdom, to be established 
and to come upon earth, and His will to be done on earth as it 
is done in heaven, and for Satan's kingdom to be destroyed, 
which is the prayer and desire of Joanna Southcott." They 
who signed this were to be sealed. Now if this temporal seal- 
ing, which is mentioned by St. John in the Eevelation, had 
been understood before this time, men would have begun seal- 
ing themselves without the visitation of the Spirit ; and, if she 
had not understood it and explained it now, it would have 


been more fatal for herself and for all mankind than the fall of 
Eve was. The mystery of sealing was this ; whosoever signed 
his name received a sealed letter containing these words : " The 
Sealed of the Lord, the Elect, Precious, Man's Eedemption, to 
inherit the Tree of Life, to be made Heirs of God, and Joint- 
heirs with Jesus Christ." Signed, Joanna Southcott. 

In 1792 she opened her commission and declared herself to 
be the woman spoken of in the Eevelations, "the Bride, the 
Lamb's wife, and the woman clothed with the sun." Previous 
to this, while sweeping her master's shop, she found or pre- 
tended to find a seal, on which were the initials J. S. ; this of 
course was applied to her own name, and here she began to 
show the cloven feet. This seal was for a time thrown aside, 
probably while she was conjecturing what use to make of it, 
till at length she informed the few who reposed confidence in 
her, " The Spirit one day ordered her to look for it," when she 
found, not only the letters J. S., but what was much more 
convenient for her purpose, the initials J. C. engraved in addi- 
tion on it, accompanied with two stars ! This miracle was soon 
blazoned around, and this ridiculous assertion was the ground- 
work on which she built her mummery, of being visited by 

Shortly after opening her mission she published the following 
declaration : — 

" I, Joanna Southcott, am clearly convinced, that my calling is of 
God, and my writings are indited by His spirit, as it is impossible that 
any spirit but an all wise God, that is wondrous in working, wondrous 
in wisdom, wondrous in power, wondrous in truth, could have brought 
round such mysteries, so full of truth, as in my writings ; so I am 
clear in whom I have believed, that all my writings came from the 
spirit of the most high God. 

"Joanna Southcott." 

In December 1813, she declared her pregnancy, and in her 
third and fourth book of wonders, she said she should have a 
son that year by the power of the Most High. Her followers 
now increased rapidly and she amused them with very inter- 
esting visions and dreams ; and chapels were opened for pro- 
mulgating her doctrine. 



This infatuated woman not only promised her believers a 
child, but assured them of a private marriage ; the following is 
a letter, which she addressed, on this occasion, to her 
friends : — 

" Many of my believers in my visitation, as I have been informed, 
begin to grow impatient in tbe expectation, as to the marriage spoken of, 
not having taken place and been published a long ti me before the child 
should be born ; and seeing the harvest nearly ended, ' they appear 
ready to sink in the great deep,— the seas before them, and the 
Egyptian host behind them ;' so that, Where is the promise of either 
the marriage or the child ? will soon be the cry of the public ; and 
the believers themselves will be ready to say, — ' the harvest is over; 
the day is ended, and we are not saved.' From this I see clearly, 
that my enemies will soon boast and triumph ; while the believers 
would be ready to sink and despair, if the way they are stumbled in 
remained without being answered and explained. In order, there- 
fore, to do away such a state of mind in the believers, I take this 
opportunity of informing them, that when the marriage was first pro- 
posed to me, it was before I had any knowledge of what would follow; 
I was warned that a private marriage should first take place in my 
own house, which afterwards was to be granted to be realized in 

" This circumstance stumbled me, and also my friends who were 
made acquainted with it, because at that time there appeared no neces- 
sity for such a private marriage to take place in haste ; but now I see 
cause enough, from the dangers which begin to appear ; so that from 
my present situation, and my own feelings, I can judge of the truth 
of the words that are already in print. For if there be ' no son,' 
there will be 'no adopted father,' and no marriage to be binding; 
because it will be but a temporary marriage, from which death must 
soon release me. But who the bridegroom is, must not publicly be 
made known, after the marriage has taken place, until the child is 
born. Thus, taking the whole into consideration, it is clear to me, 
that the marriage and the birth of the child may, and will most likely, 
take place within, perhaps, less than a day, the one before the other ; 
therefore the believers may, from this hint, be able to form a correct 
judgment, and check their impatience, not to look for the Sixth Booh 
immediately after the marriage shall have taken place ; but that the 
Sixth and Seventh Books, to complete the wonders, as before said, 
will be in order, and in right time, both after the birth of the child 
shall have taken place. 

(Signed) "Joanna Southcott." 

October 21, 1814. 


As soon as the wished-for day approached for the alleged 

delivery, presents of all descriptions, as they pretended, came in 


unasked. Some one sent a crib for the expected Messiah, 
made in all the taste of elegant design, and manufactured with 
a bed, by Seddons, a cabinet-maker, of Aldersgate Street ; and 
that nothing might be wanting at this accouchement, laced-caps, 
bibs, robes, mantles, pap-boats, caudle-cups, and everything 
necessary for such an occasion, so poured in for the use of the 
expected Shiloh, as at length to oblige them, as they stated, to 
refuse further presents. A Bible also, in the most costly decor- 
ation, was not forgotten among the offerings of the wise 

Further to strengthen the fraud, it was unblushingly asserted, 
that a number of medical men of the highest reputation were 
called in, who had expressed their opinion of her pregnancy. 
Dr. Sims, however, in the " Morning Chronicle" of September 3, 
1814, published a statement, declaring as follows : — 

" I went to see her on August 18, and after examining her, I do 
not hesitate to declare, it is my firm opinion that the woman called 
Joanna Southeott, is not pregnant ; and before I conclude this state- 
ment, I feel it right to say, that I am convinced the poor woman 
labours under strong mental delusion. Having observed in the news- 
papers, assertions repeatedly made, that eminent accoucheurs have 
declared this woman to be pregnant, I am desirous I should not be 
considered in that number." 

At length it seems that Joanna Southeott, when approaching 
to her end, either recovered her senses or repented of her sins. 
The following letter appeared in the " Observer," October 30, 

"to the editor. 

" Having been requested by Joanna to acknowledge her former 
wicked errors, I presume no publication better adapted to give pub- 
licity to this subject than ' The Observer.' I have therefore, on the 
part of Joanna, respectfully, and with sincere contrition to state, that 
for some considerable time past she has been in a state of delirium, 
but at length having become, as it were, herself again, being now 
calm and collected, and fearing that she is approaching to her latter end, 
she hereby renounces all the wicked incantations of her former dis- 
tempered brain ; and she hopes that a generous public will forget the 
impositions and errors that she has of late endeavoured to impose upon 
their understanding. And she further hopes, that all good Christians 


will not only forgive, but will fervently join in her prayers to the 
Almighty, for a forgiveness of her late "blasphemous doctrines and 
past sins. " I. Tozek." 

Even after the death, of Joanna Southcott, her simple 
believers expected a sudden resurrection. The following letter 
appeared in a second edition of the " Sunday Monitor," which 
had for some time past degraded itself as the vehicle of this 
poor wretch's infatuation or imposture, for the sake of selling 
a few copies to those silly people who would buy such trash. 
It appeared that the scandalous delusion which had for several 
months disgraced the metropolis, and even the character'of the 
times we live in, was now at an end : 

" Death of Mrs. Southcott. Tuesday afternoon. 


" SlK— Agreeably to your request, I send a messenger to acquaint 
you, that Joanna Southcott died this morning precisely at four o'clock. 
The believers in her mission, supposing that the vital funotions ars 
only suspended for a few days, will not permit me to open the body 
until some symptom appears, which may destroy all hopes of resusci- 

"I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

" Piccadilly, Bee. 27, 1814. " Eichaed Reece." 

The most zealous of the followers did not hesitate even then 
to pronounce their positive conviction of her re-animation dur- 
ing the day — these predictions, however, to the mortification of 
the deluded multitude, were destined to disappointment. 
The prescribed period of four days and nights elapsed, and so 
far was the body from exhibiting appearances of a temporary 
suspension of animation, that it began to display a discolor- 
ation, which at once brought home to conviction the fact, that 
the wretched Joanna was but mortal, and like other mortals, 
subject to decay. The hopes of her friends being thus frus- 
trated, preparations were made to perform that operation which 
she had herself directed, namely, to dissect her remains, which 
was done by Doctors Eeece and Want, when all question 
respecting her pregnancy was finally settled, and the real cause 
of her appearing in that state instantly seen. 



: V.V//7//y///,--'^ fti/t-ctfy £/ 



On the 2nd of January, 1815, her remains were privately- 
interred in Marylebone Upper Burying-ground, near Kilburn, 
and a stone bearing the following inscription placed over her 
grave : 


Who departed this life, December 27, 1814, aged 60 years. 

While through all my wondrous days, 
Heaven and earth enraptured gaze, 
While vain sages think they know, 
Secrets thou alone canst show. 
Time alone will tell what hour. 
Thou'lt appear in greater power ! 

Thomas Laugher, 

Commonly called" Old Tommy" 

THOMAS LAUGHER, better known by the name of " Old 
Tommy," is a striking instance of the good effect of tem- 
perance on the human constitution, for to this cause his vene- 
rable age must undoubtedly be in a great measure ascribed. 
He was born at the village of Markley, in the county of Wor- 
cester, and was baptized, as appears by his register, in January, 
1700. His parents were natives of Shropshire, and were them- 
selves examples of unusual longevity, his father dying at the 
age of 97, and his mother at 108. In the year following that 
of his birth they removed with him to London. 

Laugher was educated at Christ Church College, Oxford, 
where he remained nearly twelve years. From thence he 
made a tour on the Continent, visiting many parts of Turkey, 
&c, and was absent seven years. 

In the early part of his life Laugher followed for some 
years the profession of a liquor merchant, in Tower Street. 
This, however, he was obliged to relinquish, in consequence 
of a heavy loss which he experienced, through the failure of 


Neele, Fordyce, and James, at that time a very considerable 
house in the city, to the amount of £198,000. This affair took 
such effect upon him that he immediately became blind and 
speechless, and his skin peeled from the whole of his body. 
, He was now reduced from affluence to a state of extreme 
poverty. Though in a line of business in which wines and 
spirits of every kind presented themselves freely and plenti- 
fully, he never drank any fermented liquor during the first fifty 
years of his life, his chief beverage being milk and water, coffee 
and tea. 

His strength of memory was such that he could remember 
most of the principal occurrences of the last century, and would 
relate with pleasure, to those who visited him, his seeing Queen 
Anne going to the House of Peers," on horseback, in the year 
1705, seated on a pillion behind the Lord Chancellor ; and 
also, when a little boy, the death of King William. He like- 
wise could recollect bread at twopence farthing the quartern 
loaf, fresh butter at twopence halfpenny per pound, and 
butchers' meat at one penny per pound. 

He resided latterly in Kent Street, in the Borough, from which 
he used to walk every Sunday morning, when weather permitted, 
to the Eev. Mr. Coxhead's chapel in Little Wild Street, Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields ; and a short time previous to his death he 
walked as far as Hackney and back again. 

To all appearance " Old Tommy " had been a remarkably 
well-made man, and rather above the middle stature. Al- 
though at that extreme age, his lungs were very strong and 
sound. It is not less surprising than true, that after a severe 
fit of illness, at the age of eighty, he had a fresh head of hair, 
and new nails both on his fingers and toes ; a contraction 
took place at the same time in the finger of each hand, which 
never left them. His bair was thick and flowing, not 
thoroughly white, but grey on the outside and brown under- 
neath, as were also his eyebrows. 

This venerable man had been for some time supported by 
the donations of charitable and well-disposed persons. From 
a spirit of independence, he used, for several years, to sell laces 


for stays, garters, and other little articles of that nature, for 
which he found customers among his friends, who always libe- 
rally encouraged his industry. 

Laugher had a son who died at the age of eighty. This 
son, whom he called his " poor Tommy," had the appearance 
of being considerably older than himself, which occasionally 
produced curious mistakes. Among others the following anec- 
dote is^ related on this subject : Walking some years since in 
Holborn with his son, the difficulty which the latter found to 
keep up with him, drew the attention of a gentleman, who went 
to old Laugher- and began to expostulate with him for not as- 
sisting his father. When informed of his mistake, he would 
not give credit to the old man till convinced by some person 
who knew them both, of the truth of his testimony. 

This inversion in the order of nature was attributed by the 
old man to his son's having lived freely. He has been often 
heard to say, " If the young fool had taken as much care of his 
health as I have, he might now have been alive and hearty." 

As far as his memory went " Old Tommy " was extremely 
willing to answer any questions that were proposed, and had 
not that austerity and peevishness which so frequently accom- 
pany extreme age. He was much pleased to hear of Old Jen- 
kins and Old Parr, and said his family came from the same 
county as the latter. His inoffensive manners and uninter- 
rupted cheerfulness gained him the sespect both of old and 
young in the neighbourhood of his residence. 

He died in 1812, at the surprising age of 112 years. 


Margaret M'Avoy, 

The Blind Girl. 

THE peculiar faculties which this astonishing young lady, 
although quite blind, possessed, in telling the various 
colours, and reading every word with her fingers' end, ex- 
cited universal attention, as she was supposed by many to be 
an impostor, like Joanna Southcott, or Ann Moore. Several 
learned statements and narratives have been written, particu- 
larly one by Dr. Renwick, who was her physician. She was 
born at Liverpool, June 28, 1800, and from her birth to nine 
months old, was a healthy girl, and able then to walk alone ; 
but during the following nine months was often indisposed* 
Her complaint increased till June 7th, 1816, when she became 
totally blind. 

The first public notice of this extraordinary lady, was thus 
communicated by Mr. Egerton Smith; to the editor of the 
" Liverpool Mercury : — 

" At my first interview, I learnt from herself what I had in- 
deed previously been told by others, that she had recently ac- 
quired the faculty of distinguishing not only the colours of 
cloth and stained glass, but that she could actually decipher 
the forms of words of a printed book ; and, indeed, could read, 
if the phrase may be permitted, with tolerable facility. To 
put these pretensions to the test, she permitted a shawl to be 
passed across the eyes in double folds, in such a way that all 
present were convinced that they could not, under similar cir- 
cumstances, discern day from night. In this state a book was 
placed before her, and opened indiscriminately, when, to our 
extreme surprise, she began to trace the words with her finger, 
and repeat them correctly. She appeared to recognise a short 
monosyllable by the simple contact of one finger, but in ascer- 
taining a long word she placed the fore-finger of her left hand 
on the beginning, whilst with that of her right hand she pro- 



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ceeded from the other extremity of the word ; and when the 
two fingers, by having traversed over all the letters, came in 
contact with each other, she invariably and precisely ascertained 
the word. By my watch I found that she read about thirty 
words in half a minute, and it very naturally occurred to us, 
that if, notwithstanding her supposed blindness and the double 
bandage over her eyes, she could still see; she would have read 
much more rapidly, if her motive had been to excite our asto- 
nishment. And here it may not be amiss to state, that there 
does not appear to be any adequate motive for practising a de- 
lusion upon the public. Her situation in life is respectable ; 
and her mother disavows any intention of ever exhibiting her 
daughter as a means of pecuniary remuneration. 

" According to her own statement, her powers of touch vary 
very materially with circumstances ; when her hands are cold 
she declares that the faculty is altogether lost, and that it is 
exhausted also by long and unremitted efforts ; that she con- 
siders the hours of from ten until twelve of each alternate day 
the most favourable for her performance. Her pulse during 
the experiments has varied from 110 to 130 degrees. 

" One circumstance which has created much doubt and sus- 
picion, must not be concealed, which is, that if any substance, 
for instance a book or a shawl, be interposed between her 
hands, and the object she is investigating, she is much embar- 
rassed, and frequently entirely baffled. She explains this, by 
saying that it is necessary there should be an uninterrupted 
communication between her fingers and her breath. 

" I took from my pocket-book an engraved French assignat, 
which was hotpressed and smooth as glass ; she read the 
smallest lines contained in this with the same facility as the 
printed book. A letter received by that day's post was pro- 
duced, the direction and post-mark of which she immediately 
and correctly deciphered. 

" She also named the colour of the separate parts of the 
dresses of the persons in company, as well as various shades of 
stained glass which were purposely brought. 

" Not the slightest objection was offered to my proposal of 

204 MARGARET M 'A 70 Y, 

the candle being extinguished ; her mother stationed herself 
before the fire, which was extremely low, and afforded so little 
light, that I could not have read one word of moderate-sized 
print, if it had been brought almost in contact with the bars of 
the grate. I then took from my pocket a small book, the type 
of which was very little larger than that of an ordinary news- 
paper, observing at the time that I was afraid the print was 
too minute ; to which she replied, that her fingers were in ex- 
cellent order, and that she had no doubt but she should be 
able to make it out. Miss M'Avoy sat in the farthest part of 
the room with her back towards the grate, in such a situation 
that I could barely discern even the leaves of the book which 
lay open before her, the title of which she proceeded to read 
with complete success, with the exception of one very minute 

" I then presented to her a small piece of smooth writing- 
paper, which was ruled with horizontal faint blue lines, be- 
tween each of which were traced lines with a pen and black 
ink ; there were also perpendicular red lines, between which 
were scored black lines; all these, with their direction and 
order, she determined without any apparent difficulty. 
" Gogglers were next tried, in this manner : — 
" They axe intended to be worn by travellers to guard the 
eyes against the wind or the dust, and consist of two glasses, 
sometimes green, fitted into a bandage of leather, which is 
passed horizontally across the face, and is tied with ribbons 
round the back of the head. The gogglers provided for Miss 
M., instead of glasses were fitted up with opaque pasteboard, 
lined with paper, and not an aperture was left through which 
a single ray of light could penetrate. One part of the per- 
formance was so truly astonishing, that I should almost hesi- 
tate to relate it, if two gentlemen had not been present to 
vouch for the truth. I had furnished myself with a set of 
stained landscape glasses, usually termed Claud Lorrain glasses. 
They were seven in number, contained in a frame. She ascer- 
tained the precise shade of each correctly ; one glass, however, 
appeared to embarrass her, and after considerable scrutiny, she 


said it was not black, nor dark blue, nor dark brown, but she 
thought it was of a very deep crimson. We did not know 
whether the conjecture was correct or not, as we could not our- 
selves ascertain the shade. By reflected light it appeared to 
us to be perfectly black ; nor was the flame of the fire, which 
was stirred for the occasion, visible through it in the faintest 
degree. We had abandoned all expectation of determining this 
point, when the sun suddenly emerged from behind the clouds, 
and by that test, and that alone, were we enabled to discover 
that she was correct, as we could just discern the solar image 
of a very deep crimson. 

" Miss M'Avoy, it appears, had recently found out that this 
extraordinary faculty was not confined to her fingers, and that 
she could also distinguish the colour of an object which was 
brought into contact with the back of her hands. This was 
immediately made the subject of experiment, and she was com- 
pletely successful upon this occasion. 

" I have now given a faithful narrative of what I have ac- 
tually witnessed, and what has been the subject of notoriety 
and astonishment probably among thousands in this town. 

" She had also begun to tell the hour and minute through 
the watch-glass, without opening the case ! But the most 
wonderful of all, and which forms an appropriate climax to 
the other mysteries, was the newly acquired power of ascer- 
taining objects at a distance, with her back towards them, and 
by simply stretching out the fingers in the direction of such 

Shortly after the publication of Mr. E. Smith's statement, 
Dr. Renwick favoured the public with a very interesting and 
erudite narrative of Miss M'Avoy's case, from which we copy 
the following extraordinary facts: On the 7th June, 1816, 
Miss M'Avoy became totally blind ; her health declined ; and 
the immediate termination of her life was daily looked for by 
her friends. In this distressing state she continued till the 
middle of the following month, when she begun to recover her 
health and spirits, and in a short time was able to amuse her- 
self by knitting and sewing ; and it was at that period she 


gave evidence of her extraordinary powers of reading, as men- 
tioned by Mr. Smith. She also endeavoured to amuse herself 
in making small baskets of coloured paper. It was curious to 
observe her passing the paper through the interstices of the 
basket-work. She was often foiled by the point of the paper 
being turned inward or outward. If she found she did not 
succeed, after two or three attempts, she .used her fingers to 
straighten it, and it then passed through. A basket thus 
made by Miss M'Avoy is in the possession of the Countess of 

In the presence of Dr. Brandreth and Mr. Shaw, she read 
the maker's name in Dr. Brandreth's hat, " Capon, Hat-maker, 
London," with her hands behind her. The eyes were covered 
with black velvet and s gold beater's skin, with a silk handker- 
chief tied over the whole. She traced with her fingers a land- 
scape which consisted, among other objects, of two cocks fight- 
ing ; she said they were like two peacocks : the tails of the 
cocks were very full. , 

A few days after, several gentlemen who had heard of Miss 
M Avoy's very extraordinary powers, wished to be introduced 
to her. Dr. Eenwick accordingly proceeded with them to her 
residence. He covered her eyes with sticking-plaister and 
black silk, in so complete a manner to all appearance, that it 
was agreed by the gentlemen present it could not be more 
secure. A silk handkerchief was then tied over the whole, 
crossed at the eyes, and pinned over the ears. Several pieces 
of silk were given her, all of which she named correctly. 
Twelve square pieces of glass were provided, between each piece 
a small portion of silk was enclosed ; they were sealed together 
by sealing-wax, and were given'in the following order :— 

1 . Light blue answered Light Hue. 

2. Straw colour „ Light yellow, or straw colour. 

3. Two pieces of glass, ~) ( Nothing. The glasses of a 
without silk ) " \ greenish colour. 

4. Scarlet ,, Scarlet. 

6 ' w^ulberfy ™ 7 .'. } " ^^ or dark P°PPy- 


6. Pink, with white") 

spotsononeside, and f , _...,., 

white with pinkf ^swered Whitish. 

spots on the other. J 

She told the colour of two seals belonging to the watch of 
one of the gentlemen, also the colour of the metal of his watch, 
and of the riband attached to it, which was red, with a black 
border : she told the time of the day exactly to half a minute, 
in two different watches. A piece of paper was given her, cut 
out from the covering of Ormerod's History of Cheshire, and 
she read with her fingers, " Ormerod's History of Cheshire, 
Part III., subscriber's copy, No. 200, collated and perfect, Dr. 
Eenwick, Liverpool." A copy of one of the laws of the Athe- 
naeum, printed in a very small type, was given to her, which, 
with the help of a magnifying glass, she read part of correctly. 

On July 30, 1817, Dr. Eenwick having blindfolded Miss 
MAvoy, made the following, among many other experi- 
ments : — 

With her hands upon the window, she perceived two newly- 
cut stones, of a yellow colour, lying one on the other against 
the wall on the other side of the street, distance about twelve 
yards : also a heap of cast iron railings, piled upon each 
other. One of the company being despatched to place himself 
on the ground, stones, rails, &c, she mentioned whenever he 
moved his position ; perceived him jump off the railing ; men- 
tioned the colours of his dress correctly, only said that a plum- 
coloured coat was black ; mentioned two children accidentally 
passing by at the time. She said they appeared very small 
indeed ; the person who was thus sent, appeared about two 
feet high, when at the distance of twelve yards ; as he came 
nearer, she observed, that she felt him grow bigger. All the 
objects appeared to her as if painted on the glass. 1 

With her fingers on the window, she described a workman 
in the street, distance ten yards ; a cart loaded with barrels of 
American flour ; another with two loaves of sugar ; a third, 
empty ; a girl with a small child in her arms, &c, all exactly 

ao8 MARGARET M'A 70 7, 

true, except that there were three loaves of sugar in the second 

With her hand placed behind her upon the window, oppo- 
site to the communion end of the church, she told the figures 
of different people passing, and sometimes mentioned the colour 
of the clothes, or of anything that might be on the head, or in 
the hand, or upon the shoulder or back of the person. She 
told also, the positions of four different workmen in the church- 
yard, one by one, as they sat down ; she stated one to be read- 
ing a paper or book ; the second to have his hands in his 
breeches pocket ; and the third to have his hands folded across 
his breast, and her description of the position of the fourth is 
not recollected. 

She traced the outline of a very irregular figure, formed by 
squeezing the portions of two wafers, one black, the other red, 
between two plates of glass. 

She read common print easily by touching a piece of window 
glass held twelve inches from the book : at a greater distance 
she could not read, but could read much easier when the glass 
was brought nearer to the book. In like manner, and at the 
same distance, she discovered a sixpence, half-guinea, three- 
shilling-piece, &c. She mentioned which had the head, which 
the reverse upwards, read the dates ; pointed out on the six- 
pence the position of the harp, lions, crown, &c. She ob- 
served, unasked, that one half-guinea was crooked ; said it did 
not lie flat on the paper, that the crown was downward, that 
it was not a brass counter ; did not think it was the shadow of 
the half-guinea which made her know it to be crooked. 

She could not discover the colour by the tongue; but closing 
between her lips the red, yellow, blue, and white petals of 
flowers, she told each distinctly. 

On October 24th, 1817, with the goggles on, covering the 
face, she named the colour of several silks, the time of the day 
in two watches, the colour of a green, and of a whitish seal. 
She felt the reflected image of Dr. Freckelton, who had just 
come into the room with Dr. Brandreth, when feeling through 
plain glass, and named him. She described in a similar manner 


the face and colour of Lady Mary Stanley, and of Mrs. Jlesketh, 
and the colour of the hair of each, but she did not describe 
Miss Hornby, who afterwards looked into the glass. She 
traced the figure of an old man upon Dr. Brandreth's snuff- 
box. She read, through a magnifying-glass, a word or two 
only in a book. It was observed, that both the box and the 
book, as held in her hands at the time, were totally out of the 
line of vision, if even she had the most perfect command of 
sight, and could have seen, as it had been asserted, down the 
sides of the nose. 

The red and orange rays of the solar spectrum being thrown 
by a prism upon her hand, she said it appeared as gold. All 
the colours being thrown on the back of her hand, she dis- 
tinctly described the different parts of her hand. She marked 
the moments when the colours became faint, and again vivid, 
by the occasional passage of a cloud, without being desired to 
do so. The prismatic colours afforded her the greatest pleasure 
that she had experienced since her blindness. She never saw 
a prism in her life. She felt the spectrum warm. The violet 
rays were the least pleasant. She observed that the red rays 
appeared warmer and more pleasant than the violet, which 
opinion coincides with that of Dr. Herschell, who proved the 
great difference of heat between the different prismatic rays. 

These questions were put to Miss M'Avoy, which she an- 
swered in the following manner : — 

Q. Did you ever knit a stocking before you were deprived 
of sight 1—A. Yes. 

Q. When your mother gave you the knitting, did you find 
it difficult to execute? — A. I found it very difficult at first, 
and did not know well how to begin ; but I soon learnt it, 
and felt gratified that I had succeeded. 

Q. Were you more expert in sewing? — A. I experienced 
much the same feeling as in knitting.. 

Q. What sensation did you feel when you first were asked 
and told the colour of my coat 1 — A. At first it was a sensation 
of astonishment, and then of pleasure. 

Q. Do you prefer any colour?—^. I prefer the brightest 



colours, as they give a pleasurable feeling ; a sort of glow to 
my fingers, and, indeed, all through me. Black gives me rather 
a shuddering feel. 

Q. Is the feeling similar when they are enclosed in a phial 
bottle, or when you feel through the plain glass? — A. Yes, it 
is similar, but not exactly so, if the bottle be cold. 

Q. Do you feel the colour equally well if two glasses are 
placed before the object? — A. If the glasses are very close to 
each other, as if there were only one glass, I feel the colour, 
but it appears more faint ; but if they are placed at a distance 
from each other, I do not feel the object. 

Q. If coloured glasses are given to you, what sensation do 
you feel? — A. Much the same as when silks, are put into my 

Q. How do you tell glass from stones 1 — A. The stones feel 
harder and more solid, and the glass softer. 

Q< Did you not lately feel a seal which you declared was 
neither stone nor glass 1 — A. Yes ; I did say so, and it felt 
softer than glass. 

Q. In what way was the impression made upon the fingers, 
when you felt the figures reflected from the mirror through 
the plain glass ? — A. I feel the figures as an image upon each 

Q. How do figures or letters feel through the glass 1 — A. As 
if they were raised up to the finger. 

Q. How do they feel through the magnifying glass ? — A. In 
a similar way, but larger. 

Q. How do they feel through the short-sighted, or concave 
glass, similar to that which the Eeverend George Hornby gave 
you 1 — A. The object is smaller in proportion, as it is held at 
a distance; but placed upon the paper, the letters feel the 
same as through common glass. 

Q. What is the feeling you have of different metals?—^. I 
feel gold and silver to be more pleasant than brass, copper, or 

Q. What is the feeling you have of different fluids?—^. 
Similar to my feeling of silks. 


Q. How do you know the difference between water and 
spirits of wine? — A. By the spirits of wine feeling warmer 
than water. 

Q. How do you know that a person is putting out his hand, 
or nodding to you? — A. If any one puts out his hand 
upon entering, or going out of the room, I feel as if air, or 
wind, was wafted towards me, and I put out mine. If a nod 
is made pretty near to my face, a similar sensation is felt ; but 
if a finger be pointed at me, or a hand held before me in a 
gentle manner, I do not feel it unless I am about to read or 
tell colours, and then I very soon tell if there be any obstruc- 
tion between the mouth, the nostrils, and the object. 

Q. How do you calculate the height of persons entering the 
room? — A. 'By a feeling, as if less or more wind was wafted 
towards me, according to the height of the person. 

Q. Can you distinguish persons who have visited you since 
your blindness, or whom you have known before ? — A. Gene- 
rally speaking, I can by the tread of the foot ; but almost cer- 
tainly by the voice, and sometimes by the breathing. 

Q. If a person passes you quickly, do you feel any additional 
sensation ? — A. Yes, I feel a greater sense of heat, according 
to the quickness with which a person passes me, or comes into 
the room. 

Q. Is your sense of feeling as strong upon any other part of 
the body as in the fingers, upon the hand, or upon the cheek ? 
— A. Upon the foot, elbow and leg, and upon the lip ; but it 
is not so sensible upon the foot, or leg, or elbow, as it is upon 
the lip ; nor upon the lip, hand, or cheek, as in the fingers. 

Q. Is your sense of hearing more acute than before your 
illness? — A. Much more acute. 

Q. Is your sense of smell increased also ? — A. It is very 
much increased. 

Q. Can you distinguish colours by smelling them ? — A. No. 

Q. Is your taste also more acute? — A. Very much more 

Q. Have you preference to any sorts of food ? — A. I prefer 
those which are sweetest. 

' ' • '14—2 

Missing Page 

Missing Page 


stated Miss M'Avoy found herself possessed of certain powers 
of an extraordinary nature, and the relation of which excited 
the curiosity as well as the criticism of many individuals. It 
was very early in September, 1816, that her stepfather, Mr. 
Hughes, was reading a few pages in a small book belonging to 
one of his children, in which a history was given of the life of 
St. Thomas a Becket, not very favourably to his general cha- 
racter. He mentioned it to his wife and daughter, and said he 
recollected having read once a very different account in another 
book. Miss M'Avoy told him she had, before she was taken 
ill, seen an account of his life in a book entitled the ' Lives of 
the Saints,' and, if she had the book could point out the place 
where it was. The book was put into her hand, and in turning 
over the leaves she pointed out the place, passed her fingers 
over it, and read a few words. In a jocular manner Mrs. 
Hughes asked her if she could feel the letters with her fingers. 
She said she felt the words she had read, and would try again 
if her father would give her a book. A number of a folio 
Bible, of tolerably large print, was given, and she read several 
verses to the great astonishment of her father and mother. 
Upon hearing this account I was induced to visit her again, 
with Mr. Thomas, and took considerable pains in examining 
the eyes ; but we found little or no alteration in their general 
appearance, except that the pupil was not quite so dilated as 
before ; but the light of a candle appeared to have no influence 
upon it. "We found her father's account very accurate, and 
that she really could read by the application of the fingers to 
the letters, with considerable fluency. As it was probable any 
other person, who had not the same opportunity of judging of 
her blindness with Mr. Thomas and me, might think it possible 
she could see, I thought it right to bind something over the 
eyes, and I made use of a Manchester cotton shawl, which 
went twice round the head, crossed the eyes, and was tied at 
the back of the head as firmly as she could bear it. I placed 
in her hand a number of the Bible above mentioned, and she 
read very correctly one verse of a chapter in Genesis. I then 
requested to have another book, which happened to be a 


volume of the ' Annals of the Church.' I opened it, and she 
read to me several lines, with the alteration in a proper name 
of only one letter, which, upon being desired to read over 
again, she corrected. I then turned to a few lines of errata, and 
she read them correctly, only reading the letter I. as an I and 
a dot. The mode she follows is to place her fingers upon the 
letters, to proceed from the beginning to the extremity of the 
word, and back again, until she names it, and so on to the next 
word. She often makes use of the fingers of both hands, par- 
ticularly the fore fingers ; and when they are in good order she 
will read from twenty-five to thirty words in half a minute. 

" On the following day I mentioned the circumstance to a 
friend, 'who was anxious to see a phenomenon of this kind, and 
he met me in St. Paul's Square. Miss M'Avoy again read over 
to us a verse in the Bible, a few lines in the ' Annals of the 
Church,' and the title-page, mottos, and several lines in a 12mo. 
edition of ' Grahame's Sabbath.' I placed her fingers upon a 
blank leaf and desired her to read. The attempt was made, but 
she said she could not feel any letters. Her fingers were 
±hen placed upon another leaf which she declared was also 
blank. I then desired her to feel the upper part of the leaf; 
she did so, and said she felt something, but it was so confused 
she could not make out what it was. The fact was, a lady's 
name had been written in the book, and when I took it from 
my library, I scratched the name out with a pen, so that it was 
not distinguishable to the eye. 

" The persons who have visited her once, are generally known 
to her again by their manner of walking or breathing, or by the 
voice. She tells the difference in the size of one person from 
another who enters the room, if asked to do so. She has read 
with her hands behind her and under the bed-clothes, or 
under a sheet of paper, but seldom for any length of time." 
,, Within a few days of her death, she wrote a letter to her 
executor. She made no stops. She ruled her paper with a 
knife, and wrote upon the line thus formed, by which means 
the words were sufficiently separated from each other. It 
.seemed before her illness, she could hardly write at all, and 


although the writing was not good, it was sufficiently distin- 
guishable to be easily read. Previous to her blindness, it is 
said, she could scarcely join the letters. 

After a long and sad tormenting illness of five years' duration, 
death put an end to all her miseries, on August 9th, 1820 ; and 
on the same day, her body was dissected by Mr. Harrison, one 
of the demonstrators of Anatomy, &c. to the School of Surgery 
in Dublin ; before Drs. Eenwick and Jeffreys, and several 

Little information was, however, gained by this dissection, 
that could enable the medical gentlemen to account for her 
extraordinary faculties. 

Bampfylde Moore Carew, 

King of the Beggars. 

T> AMPFYLDE MOOEE CAEEW, one of the most extraor- 
-'-' nary characters on record, was descended from an ancient 
and honourable family in the west of England. He was born 
in 1693, at Bickley, in Devonshire, of which place his father, 
the Eev. Theodore Carew, was many years rector. Never was 
there known a more splendid appearance of persons of the first 
distinction at any baptism in the county, than were present at 
his. Hugh Bampfylde, Esq., and Major Moore, of families 
equally ancient and respectable as that of Carew, were his 
godfathers, and from them he received his two christian names. 

The Eev. Mr. Carew had several other children, all of whom 
he educated in a tender and pious manner. At the age of 
twelve years, his son, the subject of this article, was sent to 
Tiverton school, where he contracted an intimate acquaintance 
with many young gentlemen of the first families in Devonshire 
and the adjacent counties. 

During the first four years of young Carew's residence at 
Tiverton school, his close application to his studies gave bis 

Engraved-Try B-fag- e. 


(Zyuntf ■■'<?/ m& 

'//If'trf 7 ''' 1 ' 



friends great hopes that he might one day appear with distinc- 
tion in the profession which his father became so well, and for 
which he was designed. He actually made very considerable 
progress in the Latin and Greek languages. The Tiverton 
scholars, however, having at this time the command of a fine 
pack of hounds, Carew and three other young gentlemen, his 
most intimate companions, attached themselves with such 
ardour to the sport of hunting, that their studies were soon 
neglected. One day the pupils, with Carew and his three 
friends at their head, were engaged in the chase of a deer 
for many miles, just before the commencement of harvest. 
The damage done to the fields of standing corn was so great, 
that the neighbouring gentlemen and farmers came with heavy 
complaints to Mr. Eayner, the master of the school, who 
threatened young Carew and his companions so severely, that 
through fear they absconded and joined a gang of gipsies who 
then happened to be in the neighbourhood. This society con- 
sisted of about eighteen persons of both sexes, who carried with 
them such an air of mirth and gaiety, that the youngsters were 
quite delighted with their company, and expressing an inclina- 
tion to enter into their society, the gipsies admitted them, 
after the performance of the requisite ceremonies, and the 
administration of the proper oaths ; for these people are sub- 
ject to a form of government and laws peculiar to themselves, 
and all pay obedience to one chief who is styled their king. 

Young Carew was soon initiated into some of the arts of the 
wandering tribe, and with such success, that besides several 
exploits in which he was a party, he himself had the dexterity 
to defraud a lady near Taunton of twenty guineas, under the 
pretext of discovering to her, by his skill in astrology, a hidden 

His parents meanwhile lamented him as one that was no 
more, for though they had repeatedly advertised his name and 
person, they could not obtain the least intelligence of him. At 
length, after an interval of a year and a half, hearing of their 
grief and repeated inquiries after him, his heart relented, and 
he returned to his parents at Bickley. Being greatly disguised 


both in dress and. appearance, he was not known at first by his 
parents; but when he discovered himself, a scene followed 
which no words can describe, and there were great rejoicings 
both in Bickley and the neighbouring parish of Cadley. 

Everything was done to render his home agreeable, but 
Carew had contracted such a fondness for the society of the 
gipsies, that, after various ineffectual struggles with the sug- 
gestions of filial piety, he once more eloped from his parents, 
and repaired to his former connexions. He now began to con- 
sider in what manner he should employ himself. The first 
character he assumed for the purpose of levying contributions 
on the unsuspecting and unwary, was that of a shipwrecked 
seaman, in which he was very successful. He next gave him- 
self out to be a farmer, who, living] in the isle of Sheppey in 
Kent, had the misfortune to have all his lands overflowed, and 
all his cattle drowned. Every scheme which he undertook, he 
executed with so much skill and dexterity, that he raised con- 
siderable sums. So artful were the disguises of his dress, 
countenance, and voice, that persons who knew him intimately 
did not discover the deception, and once on the same day, he 
went under three different characters to the house of a respect- 
able baronet, and was successful in them all. 

Some time after Carew's return to the vagrant life, we find 
him on a voyage to Newfoundland, from motives of mere curi- 
osity. He acquired, during his stay, such a knowledge of that 
island, as was highly useful to him, whenever he thought 
proper afterwards to assume the character of the shipwrecked 
seaman. He returned in the same ship to Dartmouth, where 
he embarked, bringing with him a dog of surprising size and 
fierceness, which he had enticed to follow him, and made as 
gentle as a lamb by an art peculiar to himself. 

At Newcastle, Carew, pretending to be the mate of a collier, 
eloped with a young lady, the daughter of an eminent apothe- 
cary of that town. They proceeded to Dartmouth, and though 
he undeceived her with respect to his real character, she was soon 
afterwards married to him at Bath. They then visited an uncle 
of Carew's, a clergyman of distinguished abilities, at Dorchester, 


who received them with great kindness, and endeavoured, but 
in vain, to persuade him to leave the community of the 

Again associating with them, his disguises were more various 
and his- stratagems not less successful. He first equipped him- 
self in a clergyman's habit, put on a band, a large white wig, 
and a broad-brimmed hat. His whole deportment was agree- 
able to his dress; his pace was solemn and slow, his counte- 
nance grave and thoughtful, his eyes turned on .the ground ; 
from which, as if employed in secret ejaculations, he would 
raise them to heaven : every look and action spoke his want ; 
but, at the same time, the hypocrite seemed overwhelmed with 
the shame which modest merit feels when obliged to solicit the 
hand of charity. This artful behaviour excited the curiosity of 
many people of fortune to inquire into his circumstances ; but 
it was with much reluctance that he acquainted them, that he 
had for many years exercised the sacred office of a clergyman, 
at Aberystwith, a parish in Wales, but that, the government 
changing, he had preferred quitting his benefice (though he had 
a wife and several small children) to taking an oath contrary 
to his principles. This relation he accompanied with frequent 
sighs, and warm expressions of his trust in Providence ; and, as 
he perfectly knew those persons it was proper to apply to, this 
stratagem succeeded beyond his expectations. But, hearing 
that a vessel, on board of which there were many Quakers, 
bound for Philadelphia, had been cast away on the coast of 
Ireland, he laid aside his gown and band, clothed himself in a 
plain suit, and with a demure countenance applied to the 
Quakers, as one of those unhappy creatures, with great success, 
and, hearing that there was to be a meeting of them from all 
parts, at Thorncombe, in Devonshire, he made the best of his 
way thither, and, joining the assembly, with a seeming modest 
assurance, made his case known, and, satisfying them by his 
behaviour that he was one of the sect,-they made a considerable 
contribution for his relief. 

With such wonderful facility did he assume every character, 
that he often deceived those who knew him best, and were 


most positive of his not being able to impose upon them. 
Going one day to Mr. Portman's, at Brinson, near Blandford, 
in the character of a rat-catcher, with a hair cap on his head, a 
buff girdle about his waist, and a tame rat in a little box by his 
side, he boldly marched up to the house in this disguise, though 
his person was known to all the family ; and, meeting in the 
court with the Rev. Mr. Bryant, and several other gentlemen, 
whom he well knew, he asked if their honours had any rats to 
kill. Mr. Portman asked him if he knew his business, and, on 
his answering in the affirmative, he was sent in to get his 
dinner, with a promise that, after he had dined, they would 
make a trial of his abilities. Dinner being over, he was called 
into the parlour among a large company of gentlemen and 
ladies. " Well, Mr. Rat-catcher," said Mr. Portman, " can you 
lay any scheme to kill the rats without hurting my dogs t " 
" Yes, yes," replied Carew, " I shall lay my composition where 
even the rats cannot climb to reach it." — " And what country- 
man are you 1" "A Devonshire man, an't please your honour.' ; 
— " What's your name ? " Carew, perceiving by some smiles 
and whispers that he was known, replied by telling the letters 
of which his name was composed. This occasioned a good deal 
of mirth, and Mr. Pleydell, of St. Andrew's Milbourn, who 
was one of the company, expressed some pleasure at seeing the 
famous Bampfylde Moore Carew, whom he said he had never 
seen before. " Yes, but you have," said he, " and given me a 
suit of clothes." Mr. Pleydell was surprised, and desired to 
know when it was. Carew asked him if he did not remember 
being met by a poor wretch with a stocking round his head in- 
stead of a cap, an old woman's ragged mantle on his shoulders, 
no shirt to his back nor stockings to his legs, and scarcely any 
shoes to his feet, who told him that he was a poor unfortunate 
man, cast away near the Canaries, and taken up with eight 
others by a Frenchman, the rest of the crew, sixteen in number, 
being drowned ; and that after having asked him some ques- 
tions he gave him a guinea and a suit of clothes. This Mr. 
Pleydell acknowledged, and Carew replied : " He was no other 
than the expert rat-catcher now before you." At this the 


company laughed very heartily ; and Mr. Pleydell and several 
others offering to lay a guinea that they should know him 
again, let him come in what form he pleased, and others assert- 
ing the contrary, Carew was desired to try his ingenuity ; and 
some of the company following him out, let him know that on 
such a day the same company, with several others, were to be 
at Mr. Pleydell's. 

When the day arrived he got himself close shaved, dressed 
himself like an old woman, put a high-crowned hat on his 
head, borrowed a little hump-backed child of a tinker and two 
others of a beggar, and with the two last at his back and the 
former by the hand, marched to Mr. Pleydell's ; when coming 
up to the door he put his hand behind him, and pinching one 
of the children, set it a-roaring, and gave the alarm to the dogs, 
who came out with open throats, so that between the crying of 
the child and the barking of the dogs the family was sufficiently 
annoyed. This brought out the maid, who desired the sup- 
posed old woman to go about her business, telling her she dis- 
turbed the ladies. " God bless their ladyships," replied Carew, 
" I am the unfortunate grandmother of these poor helpless in- 
fants, whose dear mother, and all they had, was burned at the 
dreadful fire at Kirton, and hope the good ladies will, for God's 
sake, bestow something on the poor famished infants." This 
pitiful tale was accompanied with tears, and the maid going in, 
soon returned with half a crown and a mess of broth, which 
Carew went into the court to eat. It was not long before the 
gentlemen appeared, and after they had all relieved him he 
pretended to go away, when, setting up a tantivy, tantivy, and 
an halloo to the dogs, they turned about, and some of them 
recollecting, from his altered voice, that it could be no other 
than Carew, he was called in. On examining his features they 
were highly delighted, and rewarded him for the entertainment 
he had given them. 

Carew so easily entered into every character, and moulded 
himself into so many different forms, that he gained the highest 
applauses from that apparently wretched community to which 
he belonged, and soon became the favourite of their king, who 


was very old. This flattered his low ambition, and prompted 

him to be continually planning new stratagems, among which 

he executed a very bold one on the Duke of Bolton. Dressing 

himself in a sailor's ragged habit, and going to his grace's, near 

Basingstoke, in Hampshire, he knocked at the gate, and, with 

an assured countenance, desired admittance to the Duke, or at 

least that the porter would give his grace a paper which he 

held in his hand : but he applieij in vain. Not discouraged, he 

waited till he at last saw a servant come out, and, telling him 

he was a very unfortunate man, desired he would be so kind as 

to introduce him where he might speak with his grace. As 

this servant had no interest in locking up his master, he very 

readily promised to comply with his request, as soon as the 

porter was off his stand, which he accordingly did, introducing 

him into a hall through which the Duke was to pass. He had 

not been long there before the Duke entered, upon which, 

dropping on one knee, he offered him a petition, setting forth 

that the unfortunate petitioner, Bampfylde Moore Oarew, was 

supercargo of a vessel that was cast away coming from Sweden, 

in which were all his effects, none of which he had been able to 

save. The Duke, seeing the name of Bampfylde Moore Carew, 

and knowing those names to belong to families of the greatest 

note and worth in the west of England, asked him several 

questions about his family and relations, when, being surprised 

that he should apply for relief to any but his own family, who 

were so well able to assist him, Carew replied, that he had 

disobliged them by some follies of youth, and had not seen 

them for some years. The Duke treated him with the utmost 

humanity, and, calling a servant, had him conducted into an 

inner room, where, being shaved by his grace's order, a servant 

was sent to him with a suit of clothes, a fine Holland shirt, and 

everything necessary to give him a genteel appearance. He 

was then called in to the Duke, who was sitting with several 

other persons of quality. They were all taken with his person 

and behaviour, and presently raised for him a supply of ten 

guineas. His grace, being engaged to go out that afternoon, 

desired him to stay there that night, and gave orders that he 


should be handsomely entertained, leaving his gentleman to 
keep him company. But the Duke was scarcely gone when 
Carew found an opportunity to set out unobserved towards 
Basingstoke, where he went to a house frequented by some of 
the community. He treated the company, and, informing them 
of the bold stratagem he had executed, the whole place re- 
sounded with applause, and every one acknowledged that he 
was most worthy of succeeding to the throne of the mendicant 
tribe on the first vacancy that should occur. 

In the same disguise he imposed upon several others, and 
having spent some days in hunting with Colonel Strangeways 
at Melbury, in Dorset, the conversation happened one day at 
dinner to turn on Carew's ingenuity ; the Colonel seemed sur- 
prised that several who were so well acquainted with him 
should have been so deceived, asserting that he thought it im- 
possible for Carew to deceive him, as he had thoroughly ob- 
served every feature and line in his countenance, on which he 
modestly replied, it might be so, and some other subject being 
started, the matter dropped. Early the next morning Carew 
being called upon to go out with the hounds, desired to be ex- 
cused, which the Colonel being informed of, went to the field 
without him. Soon after, Carew went down stairs, and 
slightly inquiring which way the Colonel generally returned, 
walked out, and going to a house frequented by his commu- 
nity, exchanged his clothes for a ragged habit, made a counter- 
feit wound on his thigh, took a pair of crutches, and having 
disguised his face with a venerable pity-moving beard, went in 
search of the Colonel, whom he found in the town of Evershot. 
His lamentable moans began almost as soon as the Colonel was 
in sight : his countenance expressed nothing but pain ; his pre- 
tended wound was exposed to the Colonel's eye, and the tears 
trickled down his silver beard. As the Colonel's heart was 
not proof against such an affecting sight, he threw him half-a- 
crown, which Carew received with exuberant gratitude, and 
then with great submission [desired to be informed if Colonel 
Strangeways, a very charitable gentleman, did not live in that 
neighbourhood, and begged to be directed the nearest way to 


his seat ; on which, the Colonel, filled with compassion, showed 
him the shortest way to his own house, and on this he took 
his leave. Carew returned before the Colonel, and pretended 
to be greatly refreshed with his morning's walk. When they 
had sat down to dinner, Carew inquired what sport they had, 
and if the Colonel had not met a very miserable object. " I 
did — a very miserable object indeed," replied the Colonel.— 
" And he has got hither before you," says Carew, " and is now 
at your table." This occasioned a great deal of mirth, but the 
Colonel could not be persuaded of the truth of what Carew 
asserted, till he slipped out, and hopped in again upon his 

About this time Clause Patch, the king of the mendicants, 
died, and Carew had the honour of being elected king in his 
stead, by which dignity, as he was provided with everything 
necessary by the joint contributions of the community, he was 
under no obligation to go on any cruize. Notwithstanding 
this, Carew was as active in his stratagems as ever, but he had 
not long enjoyed this honour, when he was seized and confined 
as an idle vagrant,- tried at the quarter sessions at Exeter, and 
transported to Maryland ; where, being arrived, he took the 
opportunity, while the captain of the vessel and a person who 
seemed disposed to buy him were drinking a bowl of punch in 
a public house, to give them the slip, and to take with him a 
pint of brandy and some biscuits, and then betake himself to 
the woods. 

Having thus eluded their search, as he was entirely ignorant 
that none were allowed to travel there without proper passes, 
or that there was a considerable reward granted for appre- 
hending a runaway, he congratulated himself on his happy 
escape, and did not doubt but he should find means to get to 
England ; but going one morning through a narrow path, he 
was met by four men, when not being able to produce a pass, 
he was seized, carried before a justice of peace, and thrown 
into prison. But here obtaining information that some cap- 
tains to whom he was known were lying with their ships in 
the harbour, he acquainted them with his situation, on which 


they paid him a visit, and told him that as he had not been 
sold to a planter, if the captain did not come to demand him, 
he would be publicly sold the next court day, and then gene- 
rously agreed to purchase him among themselves, and to give 
him his liberty. Carew was so struck with their kindness, 
that he could not consent to purchase his liberty at their ex- 
pense, and desired them to tell the captain who brought the 
transports where he was. They at last agreed to his request ; 
the captain received the news with great pleasure, sent round 
his boat for him, had him severely punished with a cat-of-nine- 
tails, and a heavy iron collar fixed to his neck, and with this 
galling yoke he was obliged to perform the greatest drudgery. 
One day, when his spirits were ready to sink with despair, 
he saw the captains Harvey and Hopkins, two of those who 
had proposed to purchase his liberty. They were greatly 
affected with the miseries he suffered, and having sounded the 
boatswain and mate, prevailed on them to wink at his escape ; 
but the great obstacle was the penalty of forty pounds and a 
half-year's imprisonment for any one that took off his iron 
collar, so that he must be obliged to travel with it on. The 
captains acquainted him with all the difficulties he' would 
meet with, but he was far from being discouraged, and resolved 
to set out that night ; when directing him what course to take, 
they gave him a pocket-compass to steer by, a steel and tinder- 
box, a bag of biscuits, a cheese, and some rum. After taking 
an affectionate leave of his benefactors, he set out ; but he had 
not travelled far before he began to reflect on his wretched 
condition : alone, unarmed, unacquainted with the way, galled 
with a heavy yoke, exposed every moment to the most immi- 
nent dangers, and a dark tempestuous night approaching, in- 
creased his terror ; his ears were assaulted by the yells of the 
wild beasts ; but kindling some sticks, he kept them all night 
at a distance, by constantly swinging a fire-brand round his 
head. When daylight appeared, he had nothing to do but to 
seek for the thickest tree he could find, and climbing into it, 
as he had travelled hard all night, he soon fell asleep. Here 
he staid all day, eating sparingly of his biscuit and cheese, and 



night coming on, he took a large dram of rum, and again pur- 
sued his journey. In this manner travelling by night, and 
concealing himself by day, he went on till he was out of danger 
of pursuit, or being stopped for want of a pass, and then 
travelled by day. His journey was frequently interrupted by 
rivers and rivulets, which he was obliged either to wade 
through or swim over. At length he discovered five Indians 
at a distance ; his fear represented them in the most frightful 
colours ; but as he came nearer, he perceived them clothed in 
deer-skins, their hair was exceedingly long, and, to his inex- 
pressible joy, he discovered they had guns in their hands, 
which was a sure sign of their being friendly Indians ; and 
these having accosted him with great civility, soon introduced 
him to their king, who spoke very good English, and made 
him go to his wigwam, or house, when observing that he was 
much hurt by his collar, the king immediately set himself 
about freeing him from it, and at last effected it by jagging the 
steel of Carew's tinder-box into a kind of saw, his majesty 
sweating heartily at the work. This being done, he set before 
Care w some Indian bread and other refreshments. Here he 
was treated with the greatest hospitality and respect; and 
scarcely a day passed in which he did not go out with some 
party on a hunting match, and frequently with the king 

One day, as they were hunting, they fell in company with 
some other Indians near the river Delaware, and when the 
chace was over, sat down to be merry with them. Carew 
took this opportunity to slip out, and going to the river side, 
seized one of their canoes, and though entirely unacquainted 
with the method of managing them, boldly pushed from shore, 
and landed near Newcastle, in Pennsylvania. 

Carew now transformed himself into a quaker, and behaved 
as if 'he had never seen any other sort of people. In this 
manner he travelled to Philadelphia, meeting everywhere with 
the kindest treatment and the most plentiful supply. From 
hence he went to New York, where going on board a vessel 
belonging to Captain Kogers, he set sail for England ; and after 


Eagra-veA 'by £. Cooper 

//^•v^-v%%y <^7j{^^/(D /^^ 


having prevented his being pressed on board a man of. war, by- 
pricking his hands and face, and rubbing them with bay-salt 
and gunpowder, to give him the appearance of the small-pox, 
safely landed at Bristol, and soon rejoined his wife and begging 

What became of him afterwards is unknown, but he is said 
to have died about the year 1770, aged 77. 

Thomas Cooke, 

The Notorious Islington Miser. 

"THOMAS COOKE was born in the year 1726 at Clewer, a 
•*■ village near Windsor. His father, an itinerant fiddler, 
got his living by playing in ale-houses and at fairs, but dying 
while Thomas was an infant, his grandmother, who lived at 
Swannington, near Norwich, took care of him, till he was able 
to provide for himself ; at which time he obtained employment 
in a manufactory, where there were a number of other boys, 
who were paid according to the work they did. These boys 
always clubbed some money from their weekly earnings for the 
establishment of a mess : young Cooke, however, resolved to 
live cheaper, and when the other boys went to dinner, he 
retired to the side of a brook, and made his breakfast and 
dinner at one meal, upon a half-penny loaf, an apple, and a 
draught of water from the running stream, taken up in the 
brim of his hat. 

His economy and industry at this time, however, he turned 
to a good account, for with the money he thus saved, he paid 
a youth who was usher to a village school-master, to instruct 
him in reading, writing, and arithmetic. » 

When Cooke arrived at years of maturity, he was employed 
as porter by a Mr. Postle, at Norwich, an eminent dry Salter, 
and paper manufacturer. Here his sobriety and industry 



caused his master to make him a journeyman, and raise his 

From the conversation of the excisemen at the mill, young 
Cooke conceived their business was attended with great emolu- 
ment, and intimated to his master that he should wish to 
become one. Mr. Postle, wishing to oblige a faithful servant, 
procured his appointment to a district near London, and gave 
him a letter of introduction to a sugar-baker. On his arrival 
in London, in the Norwich waggon, he had only eight shillings 
in his pocket. 

Though appointed to a district, Cooke found there was great 
delay, and some expense before he could act as an exciseman ; 
he therefore took the situation of porter to the sugar-baker, 
and in course of time became a journeyman. Here he did not 
neglect his appointment to the Excise, but reserved sufficient 
time to himself to give it every necessary attention. By attend- 
ance on the superior of the district in which he was to act, 
and by the money he saved while in the service of the sugar- 
baker, Cooke was at length enabled to assume the dignity to 
which he had so long aspired. 

Being appointed to inspect the exciseable concerns of a paper- 
mill and manufactory near Tottenham, Cooke was exceedingly 
well pleased ; for being already versed in some parts of the 
trade, from the knowledge he had acquired in the service of 
Mr. Postle, he was desirous of learning those secrets in the 
trade, to which he was still a stranger. During the time he 
was officially employed in this concern, the master of the paper- 
mills and manufactory died. The widow, however, by the 
advice of her friends, carried on the business, with the assist- 
ance of the foreman. 

Cooke's knowledge of the business, but particularly the regu- 
larity with which he rendered his accounts to the Board of 
Excise, induced the Commissioners to continue him in the employ. 
In«the mean time, he took a regular and exact account of sun- 
dry infractions of the laws, which either from design or inad- 
vertence, were daily committed in this paper manufactory. 
Having calculated the value of the concern, and the several 


thousand pounds the penalties incurred, by frauds on the 
revenue, would amount to, he seized an opportunity of privately 
informing the widow, that these penalties, if levied, would 
amount to more than double the value of all her property, and 
expose her to beggary and the King's Bench. He assured her, 
that the frauds which had been at different times committed, 
were only known to himself, and suddenly proposed marriage 
to her, as the only means of insuring his secrecy. The widow, 
no doubt, convinced of the truth of the statement, and seeing 
in Cooke a man of comely countenance, and of good figure, 
gave him a favourable answer, but suggested the propriety of 
deferring the marriage till the time allotted to the mourning 
for her first husband had expired. Cooke agreed to this delay, 
having taken care to obtain her consent and promise on 

At length his marriage with this lady took place, and Cooke 
became possessed of all her property, which was very large, and 
particularly of the mills at Tottenham, which were on lease to 
her former husband. On the expiration of the lease, he applied 
to the proprietors for a renewal of it ; but in consequence of a 
previous treaty the premises were, to his great mortification, 
let to another person. 

He next purchased a large sugar concern in Puddledock, and 
as he knew something of the business, flattered himself, that he 
would be able to add rapidly to> his already large fortune. 
Here he carried his former habits of parsimony and abstem- 
iousness to the utmost excess; with this view, he kept no 
table, but gained the greatest part of his daily food by making 
well-timed visits to persons he knew, and making them empty 
promises, for which they often returned solid presents. His col- 
loquial powers were admirable. In his latter days it was his 
practice, when he had marked out any one for his prey, to 
find his way by some means or other into the house, by pre- 
tending to fall down in the street in a fit, or ask permission to 
enter and sit down, in order to prevent its coming on. No 
humane person could well refuse admission to a man in apparent 
distress, of respectable appearance, whose well-powdered wig, 


and long ruffles induced a belief that he -was some decayed 
citizen who had seen better days. For assistance offered, or 
given, he always expressed his gratitude in a strong energetic 
manner, peculiar to himself. He would ask for a glass of 
water, but if wine was offered, " No, he never drank anything bit 
water." His kind host presses the wine on him, which, for 
some time, he resists ; at last, seemingly overcome by the cor- 
diality of the invitation, he consents : tasting the wine, he ex- 
claims, " God bless my soul, sir, this is very excellent wine 
indeed ! Pray, sir, who is your wine merchant ? For, indeed, 
sir, to tell you a truth, it was the difficulty of getting good 
wine that caused me to leave it off entirely, and take to drink- 
ing water." " Come, sir, another glass will do you no harm." 
" Not for the world, sir ; I must be going. Thank you, sir, a 
thousand times !" He, however, suffered himself to be pre- 
vailed on to take the second glass, and then takes his leave 
with a thousand thanks. 

The singularity of Cooke's appearance rendered him remark- 
able, and it seldom happened that the inquirer was long at a 
loss to learn that his guest was " rich Mr. Cooke, the sugar- 
baker, worth a hundred thousand pounds." In the course of a 
few days, he makes his second visit, and takes care to go 
about dinner-time. " My worthy friend, I could not pass your 
door without making free to call in again to thank you for 
your great kindness the other day." " Pray, sir, do not men- 
tion it ; I am heartily glad to see you. Pray walk into the 
parlour." " 0, sir, by no means ; I just called to thank you. 
Sir, you saved my life. But I cannot come in ; I will not 
intrude ; your family are at dinner. Well. Ah ! God bless 
you and them !" " Sir, I cannot think of your staying in the 
passage, pray walk in. You praised my wine the other day ; I 
have a few bottles more of it, which you shall again taste ; 
and as my family are just sitting down to dinner, I shall be 
glad if you will do as we do." " O no, sir ; no, I humbly 
thank you, my gruel is waiting for me at home." Entreaties, 
however, prevail ; this is just what the intruder wanted ; he 
gets by this means, introduction into the family, and insures 


for himself a good dinner whatever time he chooses to come. 
But this is not all ; he has made sure that the family know 
who he is, and the extent of his riches ; he affects to take great 
notice of the children ; " God bless these dear children : pray, 
madam, are all these fine children yours f " Yes, sir." " And 
pray, madam, how many more of them have you?" "I have 
five in all; two at school, and these three that you see here." 
"Ah! ah! a sweet flock! God bless them, pretty dears! 
Pray, madam, will you have the goodness to give me all their 
names in writing !" After his departure, husband and wife 
congratulate each other on the pleasing prospect now before 
them : " what could be his meaning for asking all our children's 
names in writing 1" " Why, what but to mention them in his 
will. You see, Kate, how a good action brings its own reward ; 
this poor gentleman I did not know when he first was relieved 
by me, when he was near falling down in a fit at my door. 
We must cultivate his friendship." And now pour in upon 
him geese, turkeys, roasting pigs, hares, pheasants, and every 
other acceptable present of this sort, and, perhaps, now and 
then, a dozen of the fine wine he praised so much. This was 
the plan he pursued, with, perhaps, not less than a score or two 
of different people, all of whom he duped ; and so great was 
the quantity of poultry, game, vegetables, and provisions of 
every kind, which used to be sent to him, that it did not cost 
him in house-keeping, for himself and his domestics, more than 
fifteen pence a day on an average ; but it was considered as 
great extravagance indeed, when the expenses of a single day 
arose so high as two shillings. 

With all his parsimony, however, Cooke, to his great asto- 
nishment, found that, instead of making money by his sugar- 
house, he had lost, at the end of twelve months, £500. In 
order to discover the secrets of the trade, to which he had been 
a stranger, he was induced to invite several sugar J bakers to dine 
with him, and after plying them with plenty of wine, he put ques- 
tions to some of the younger and more unguarded of the trade, 
who, in a state of intoxication, made the desirable discoveries. 
His wife, astonished at his being so unusually generous, ex- 


pressed her apprehensions about the expenses of the wine ; but 
he told her he would such as much of the brains (his usual 
phrase) of some of the fools as would amply repay him. 

Among the number of persons that Cooke had vainly flattered 
with the idea that he would remember them in his will was a 
paper-maker, named King, who used to work with Cooke, and 
who had often, in his prosperity, driven Cooke in his gig to 
wakes and fairs. King, from the goodness of his character, 
had obtained many friends ; and, when he applied to Cooke 
for assistance, he contrived to give him some plausible reasons 
for delaying his intended benefaction till he should have tried 
all his other friends. This being done, " Now, sir," says King-, 
" I have taken your counsel in making you the last I call upon, 
and, as you always said you would do something handsome for 
me, now is the time for you to show your friendship, and give 
me your assistance." " How much have you got?" said Cooke. 
King answered, " About two hundred pounds." " Two hun- 
dred pounds, sir ! " exclaimed Cooke ; " why, sir, you ought 
never to want money again as long as you live ! Two hundred 
pounds, sir ! why, it is a fortune, an immense sum ! You can- 
not want any more money with so large a sum in your posses- 
sion : but, sir, I will give you a piece of advice worth double 
the money, and that is, if ever you buy a pint of beer again as 
long as you have existence, you ought to be hanged. There 
are plenty of pumps, and I will give you nothing." 

Another of Cooke's expectants was a poor man, a relation, 
who used occasionally to make him small presents of butter. 
" What signifies sending me these driblets 1 " said Cooke ; " a 
man who is to have thousands upon thousands at my death ! 
Send a whole firkin ! " To some answer which indicated 
that he could not afford it, Cooke replied, " Very well, sir ; 
you may do as you please, and I will do as I please." Terrified 
at this threat, the poor man complied with his wishes ; but it 
is needless to say that, like all the rest, he was first deceived 
and then disappointed. 

Ink was an article which Cooke was very fond of, and this 
he used to obtain in large quantities by begging. His way 


was to carry a strong phial about him, that held something 
more than half a pint, and whenever he could get into the 
counting-house of any of those whom he was in the habit of 
calling on, he was always sure to ask for a little ink in his 
bottle ; and if his friend chose to fill it for him he made no 
objection. What, it will be asked, did he do with such a large 
quantity of ink as he must by this means have accumulated 1 
Why, it is true, he wrote a great deal, but he did not use it all 
in writing. No : to employ a poor person to clean his shoes 
would have cost money, and to have them cleaned at home by 
his maid could not be done without expense, as the ingredients 
for making blacking would cost something in a year. The ink 
he contrived to get for nothing, and he blacked his shoes with 

After he had retired from business, and went to reside in 
Winchester Place, Pentonville, he hit upon a notable expedient 
for supplying himself with his favourite vegetable, in high per- 
fection,- at a very easy charge. Annexed to his house was a 
spot of ground, which, when he first took the premises, was 
laid out prettily for the culture of flowers ; but Cooke despised 
the foppery of flowers, and therefore lost no time in rooting 
them all up, for the purpose of making a cabbage-garden. He 
therefore dug the ground himself to avoid paying a labourer 
and paying the tax for a gardener, and sowed cabbage-seed all 
over it. He industriously applied himself to manuring the 
ground, for which purpose he would sally out in moonlight 
nights, with a little shovel and a basket, and take up the horse- 
dung that had been dropped in the course of the day in the 
City Eoad. 

Cooke seldom passed by a pump without taking a hearty 
drink. In his daily visits to the Bank he regaled himself at 
the pump near the Exchange. He was in the constant habit of 
pocketing the Bank paper, as he never bought anything if he 
could get it for nothing. 

The only indulgence Cooke allowed his wife was a small 
quantity of table beer ; and it may naturally be supposed that 
a woman who enjoyed every comfort with her former husband 


could have little regard for the second. In short, Cooke used 
her so ill, that she died of a broken heart. 

Notwithstanding this man's inordinate love for money, he 
was not without a turn for amusements : he was particularly 
fond of having a good horse, and contrived generally once a 
year to go to Epsom races. But these excursions never cost 
him anything ; for he always made shift to fasten himself upon 
some of those people whom he used to buoy up with assurances 
of making them his heirs : thus he had his ride to Epsom in 
his friend's gig, and back to town ; his bed, during the time of 
the races, his meals, and every other accommodation, at the 
expense of his fellow-traveller, to whom, for all this treating, 
he never had the generosity to offer so much as a single bottle 
of wine in return. 

At one time he had a horse, and, when not employing him, 
he kept him at livery stables ; but when he rode him, he would 
not allow corn for him at any place where he had occasion to 
stop, alleging to the ostler, that " he had had his corn at the last 
place he stopped at, so that he wanted nothing to eat, or, at 
most, not more than a mouthful of hay, and a little water ;" 
for which slender accommodation he would generously reward 
the ostler with a penny. Indeed, his stoppages upon the 
road were not very frequent, and when he did stop, it was 
always with a view to economy. 

On his excursions, many were his expedients for feeding his 
horse. If he happened to fall in with a good honest farmer, or 
farmer's servant, travelling the same way he was going, with a 
load of hay, he thought himself fortunate. Being a very well 
informed man, he could converse on almost any subject, and 
could accommodate himself to the taste of the person he con- 
versed with ; he would, of course, enter into chat with the 
driver of the hay-cart, on the weather, the price of hay and - 
corn, and other topics of rural economy : thus having wormed 
himself into the good graces of his companion, he would carry 
on the conversation for miles ; and, while riding after the cart's 
tail, would suffer his horse to pull many a sweet mouthful, and 
take his bellyful of the countryman's hay. 


A favourite horse of his had at one time a disease in the 
eyes, for which Cooke wished to have a cure ; but as he was 
too avaricious to go to a veterinary surgeon, he listened to the 
quackery of some silly journeyman farrier, or more probably 
some one who, knowing his disposition, had a mind to banter him, 
and gave him the following as a recipe for his horse's sore eyes : 
" You must take thirty onions, drill a hole in each, run a string 
through all, and hang the onions, thus strung like a necklace, 
round the horse's neck, and let him wear it continually. As 
the onions hang on, they will draw the humour out of the 
horse's eyes into themselves ; and by the time they are dried 
up and shrivelled, the eyes will get well ; if not, repeat the 
remedy : but mark this, when the onions become withered, 
they will be so full of the acrimonious humour, drawn from the 
horse's eyes, that you must bury the onions where no hog can 
get at them." " Thirty onions, sir ! why they would cost a 
great deal of money ! Pray, sir, would it not do just as well 
if I were to buy one very large onion, and cut it into thirty 
pieces, and string those thirty slices, and put them round the 
beast's neck ?" "0 no, sir, for they would wither in a day and 
lose all efficacy ; they must be whole onions." Cooke, however, 
could not find in his heart to part with so much money as 
would purchase thirty onions; half the number he supposed 
would do as well ; but although he was so foolishly credulous 
as to give ear to this nonsense, his avarice would not allow him 
to believe in the deleterious quality of the onions. Wisely 
presuming, therefore, that nothing ought to be thrown away, 
he took the onions, when they were quite shrivelled, and he 
supposed they had done their duty as an amulet round the 
horse's neck for a fortnight, and throwing away the string, he 
put them into a hand-basket and brought them into the house, 
as if just returned from market, desiring his servants to make a 
dish of onion porridge for that day's dinner. The servants, 
however, knowing from whence they came, peremptorily re- 
fused to obey his orders. 

Cooke once bargained with the keeper of a livery-stable to 
let his horse have the run of a field to graze in, at so much per 


day. When he wanted to ride, he always took a very accurate 
account of the number of hours he had him out ; and as soon 
as he intended to take away the horse finally, he desired the 
man to bring in his bill. On perusing it, he flew into a great 
passion, asking the man did he mean to be a robber to plunder 
him and cheat him. The stable-keeper desired him to count 
the number of days, from the time the horse was first taken in 
to graze, until the day he was taken away, and he would find 
the bill very correct. " Horse taken in ! No, sir, it is me that 
you want to take in, and yourself that ought to be corrected 
for wanting to cheat me of my gold ! Had I not my horse out 
of your field eight hours on Thursday? Well, sir, and did I 
not ride him to Epsom next day, and had him. out of your field 
eleven hours ? that is nineteen hours ; then, sir, five hours and 
a-half on Saturday : there, sir, there are two days and half an 
hour that you wanted to cheat me out of ; in short, here is an 
account of as many hours that my horse has been out of your 
field as amounts to fifteen days ; and have you the conscience, 
you cheating rogue, to expect me to pay you for my horse eat- 
ing your grass when he has been miles and miles away from it?" 
As the stable-keeper swore he would make him pay dearly for 
calling him a cheat and a rogue, Cooke thought fit to make an 
apology, and pay the bill. 

During the life-time of his wife he formed the determination 
of keeping two horses, and even a carriage ! With this view he 
was for some time on the look-out for the purchase of a new 
horse, in addition to the one he already possessed. In these 
researches he fell into company with some gentlemen, among 
whom, one of them was bargaining with another for the sale of 
a horse ; the price was to be twenty guineas. Cooke, who 
knew the value of a horse, examined it, and said, that if the 
gentleman who wished to purchase him had bid his utmost 
price, he considered himself at liberty to offer more ; the parties 
agreeing to this, Cooke said he would give twenty-two guineas, 
provided the owner would allow him, as a trial, to take a ride 
for five or six miles, just to know his paces, and to ascertain 
whether he would suit him, promising to return at an appointed 


hour. Cooke being well known to all the parties, this indul- 
gence was readily granted. The hour of his promised return 
expired, but no Cooke. After another hour of impatient ex- 
pectation, the poor horse was led in by his rider, limping, 
sweating through pain and anguish, the blood running in tor- 
rents down his fore legs, the skin and muscular parts of which 
were lacerated in a state shocking to behold. Cooke threw 
himself into a chair, lamenting that his dear friend should meet 
with such a misfortune ! After requesting a few minutes to 
indulge his grief, he related, that after having gone on so plea- 
santly, never having met with a more lovely creature, and one 
that would so well have suited him, unfortunately, in a narrow 
part of the road he got between a stage coach driving furiously, 
and a waggon going in a contrary direction : all his efforts to 
avoid injury to the horse were in vain ; the wheels of both car- 
riages came nearly in contact with each other, and the poor 
horse had his knees broken and lacerated in this miserable 
manner. " Nor did I," continued he, " escape," shewing his 
worsted stockings, recently torn and dirtied, and a slight graze 
on his leg, " for I myself was near being killed ; but, alas ! it 
was an accident ; however, sir, since I most unfortunately had 
your horse in my care at the time of the accident, I am willing 
that you shall not be a loser by him ; nobody would now give 
five pounds for him, but as I was the innocent cause of this 
misfortune, I will give you fifteen." The gentleman, however, 
who was bargaining for the horse when Cooke joined their 
company, after examining the injury the beast had received, 
offered to stand to his original bargain, provided the owner, in 
consideration of the expense of employing a farrier to cure the 
horse's knees, would throw in the saddle and bridle into the 
bargain. This was agreed to on the part of the owner, and the 
horse, under the care of a skilful farrier, was soon made as well 
as ever. 

The gentleman who bought the horse belonged to a club of 
respectable tradesmen who frequented the Three Tuns chop- 
house, in Smithfield, and who in the summer season occasionally 
made an excursion to dine a few miles from town. He being 
one of the party, and coming rather late, the rest of the gentle- 


men, who were standing at the parlour window, noticed the 
horse,, and observed, that he did not appear the worse for the 
severe operation he had undergone some months back. This, 
of course, brought on an inquiry as to what they meant, and 
the truth was soon discovered. Cooke, on the day he had bor- 
rowed the horse for a trial, came to this very house, and alight- 
ing, led the horse to a farrier's shop near at hand. He there 
made his proposal to the farrier's man to cut and mangle the 
horse's knees, so as to make him bleed freely, but to do it so 
as not to injure any of the tendons. To this act of cruelty the 
fellow at first objected ; but upon Cooke's representing that 
there was a considerable bet depending on it, and saying, that 
if he would not do it, he should easily find some one else that 
would — the fellow thought he might as well earn the reward 
(two pots of beer) as another, and accordingly scored and lace- 
rated the poor horse to the satisfaction of Cooke, and the dis- 
gust and horror of the bystanders, some of whom were the very- 
men that were then assembled at the dinner party. In that 
condition the inhuman wretch rode the miserable animal to 
town, exulting in the hope that by this stratagem he should 
get the horse some pounds cheaper. 

Being detached from the fatigues of business he determined 
on taking a house a little way out of town, but not at so great 
a distance as to prevent him from walking every day to the 
Bank. Accordingly he pitched on Pentonville, and until he 
could suit himself with a dwelling, he resided for some time at 
the Angel Inn, at Islington, from whence he afterwards removed 
into a small house in "Winchester Place, Pentonville. 

During the time he lived in Winchester Place, he began to 
think that he could maintain his horse much cheaper by having 
him at home than by keeping him at a livery-stable. For this 
purpose, he actually converted the kitchen of his house in 
Winchester Place into a stable, and used to curry and fodder, 
and do all the necessaries about his horse with his own hands, 
to save the expense of hiring a stable-boy. Besides, in this 
saving plan he had the dung, too, for his cabbages, which was 
no small advantage. As he had the horse, he thought it would 


be no very great expense to keep a chaise for this horse to 
draw, and he actually did at one time relax so far from his 
rigid system of economy, as to resolve on. keeping one. Ac- 
cordingly, he bargained with a coach-maker, and the chaise 
was sent home, with harness and everything complete. Cooke, 
however, in ordering home his chaise, seemed for once to have 
lost his foresight, and to have neglected to weigh all the ex- 
penses attending, the keeping of this vehicle. He had no 
chaise-house to put it in, to preserve it from the weather. He 
saw, that although he might be able to dress his horse, the 
keeping the chaise and horse too, clean and in order, would be 
too much for him ; he even forgot the tax that he would have 
to pay for his carriage ; and he found that he could not do 
without a man-servant to take care of his horse and chaise : 
therefore, until he could hire this man-servant, he could not 
run his chaise. How he was to dispose of it in the meantime 
he had not thought of. To keep it in the open area before the 
house would not do : it might be stolen at night, or injured, 
and the rain would render it unfit for use ; and the doors were 
not wide enough to admit of its being run through the house 
into the back part. He therefore had the wheels taken off, 
and put into the back garden, and the body was then carried 
through the house into the back yard, and lifted up through 
the window into his bed-chamber. However, that he did not 
entirely give up the idea of running his chaise, was evident 
from his attempts to hire a man-servant. On making known 
that he wanted one, he had several applications ; but one man 
was too slight to do the work, another too old ; one he rejected 
because he was a thin, lathy-shanked fellow with a wide 
mouth, that he was sure would eat too much ; another, because 
he owned he could not do without a little drop of gin once a 
week. * But there were two grand objections to all that offered, 
namely, that they all declared they expected to have a suffi- 
ciency of victuals; the other, the rogues, without exception, 
asked a great deal more wages than he was inclined to give, 
and therefore he was determined to keep the chaise and wheels 
where they were, until he could find some more reasonable 


attendant. The chaise-body stood in his bed-chamber, and the 
wheels lay against the wall in his garden, for year after year, 
until they were quite rotten ; and the wheels, especially, that had 
been exposed to all variations and inclemencies of the weather, 
overgrown with grass and weeds. In this state he took it into 
his head to try to sell them, and among other customers whom 
he wished to attract, he offered them to a gentleman who was 
afterwards his executor, telling him that he expected a good 
price for the vehicle, as it had never been used but once, 
namely, from the maker's house to his own, and of course not 
a bit the worse for wear and tear. 

During the whole time Cooke lived in Winchester Place, 
which is supposed to have been from twelve to fourteen or fif- 
teen years, he never once painted the house, inside or outside. 
The landlord of the house was not very well satisfied with this 
neglect ; and finding all remonstrances vain, he was desirous of 
doing some repairs at his own expense, but Cooke would not 
suffer the workmen to come into the house. When the land- 
lord found that he could obtain no good of Cooke, he gave 
him legal warning to quit. Of this warning the old man took 
no notice. When the time had nearly expired, at which, 
agreeably to notice, the landlord expected Cooke to quit his 
house, he waited on him to inquire if he had provided himself 
with another dwelling, telling him at the same time that he 
expected to have the house given up at the appointed time. 
Upon this, Cooke, with abundance of tears and lamentations, 
entreated him not to be so cruel as to turn him out ; that he 
had been looking for a house, but had not yet been so fortunate 
as to meet with one that would suit him, and begged hard for 
another month to look out. This was granted, A similar 
application made at the end of the month, obtained the in- 
dulgence of another. The landlord now determined* to he 
peremptory, and wrote him word that he should certainly call 
on such a day, at a certain hour, at which time he should expect 
Mr. Cooke, without further delay, to give up the possession of 
the house. The old gentleman, who well knew that in all 
cases of law the being in possession of good and suffioient evi- 


dence was of great importance, took care to appoint one of 
those people whom he held in subserviency by his usual policy 
of promising to remember him handsomely in his will, to be in 
attendance at his house exactly at the hour at which he ex- 
pected the landlord to call on him. On his arrival Cooke 
feigned himself very ill : the landlord said, " Well, sir, I hope 
you have suited yourself, as really the house will tumble down, 
and bury you in the ruins, it is so much out of repair, and as 
you will not repair it, I must absolutely have the key." Cooke's 
tears now flowing in torrents, he exclaimed, " Miserable man 
that I am ! which way shall I turn me ? can you have the heart 
to turn a poor old man at my time of life into the street 1 Oh, 
dear ! what will become of me 1 I am not able to look out, 
and I have no friend to look out for me ; I wish the house 
would fall on me, and put me out of my miser/ ! Spare me ! 
spare me, for God's sake ! and upon my honour, I will, as soon 
as ever I can, try to provide myself, but don't turn a poor old 
man out to die in the street." A fresh flood of tears, with the 
proper accompaniment of sobbing, groans, and sighs, were now 
called up. The landlord being a merciful man, was melted 
into compassion ; and the shock at seeing the old man fall into 
one of his usual fits (well feigned on the present occasion) com- 
pletely softened his heart. He begged Cooke to dry up his 
tears, and assured him he would not trouble him, but trusted 
to his honour that he would provide himself a house as soon as 
he could ; and he declared on his word he would not put him 
to distress, nor trouble him to remove until he was suited with 
a house. Then, with many real cordial shakes of the hand on 
the one side, and as many deceitful professions of gratitude on 
the other, the landlord took his leave. 

As soon as he was gone, Cooke, turning to his associate, 
1 said, " How easily some fools are gulled in this world ! Did 
not you remark that he gave me his promise, on his word and 
honour, that he would not put me to distress nor trouble me, 
until I should be suited with a house ? Make a memorandum 
of that ; here is pen and ink, and write it in your pocket-book, 



that he made this promise, and be sure you mention the day of 
the month, and year, and hour." 

From that day Cooke troubled himself no more about a 
house, but rested himself very contentedly ■where he was, and 
enjoyed many a laugh at the expense of his landlord, when he 
recounted to his visitors the artful manner in which he had 
cajoled him. But the owner of the house, not intending to 
carry those words to the full extent of their meaning, paid 
Cooke many friendly visits, urging him to quit the house, but 
he was immovable. At last, after being kept out of the 
house until his patience was quite worn out, he brought an 
ejectment against him. Cooke suffered this to be brought to 
trial, and brought forward the man whom he had secured 
as evidence, who swore that the plaintiff, in his presence, on a 
certain day and hour, did actually promise that he would not 
turn Cooke out, but wait until the latter should find it convenient 
to suit himself with another liouse; on this evidence the landlord 
was nonsuited, and Cooke had the satisfaction of returning 
home in triumph. The landlord, however, brought his action 
de novo, and likewise another action for the amount of thirty 
pounds for dilapidations, such as turning the kitchen into a 
stable, &c, in both of which he succeeded, after being kept out 
of his house for full two years and more by the artifice and 
obstinacy of his refractory tenant. Cooke, who foresaw that he 
should not be able to stand his ground against his landlord in 
this second contest, was prudent enough to take timely measures 
to secure a retreat ; accordingly, before the day arrived, on which 
the ejectment was to have been put in force against him, he had 
removed his furniture and his domestics to the house No. 85, 
White Lion Street, Pentonville, in which he afterwards resided 
to the time of his death. 

At length, through the infirmities of age, Cooke found him- 
self reduced to the necessity of applying from time to time for 
medical advice ; and many were the tricks which he used to 
play to cheat medical men of their time and save his money. 
He would make no scruple to beg from some of his acquaint- 
ance whom he knew to be subscribers, a letter for a dispensary, 


and, clothing himself in his old, ragged, and cast-off apparel, would 
attend regularly, as a pauper, among others, to receive advice 
and medicines gratuitously, and for several successive weeks. 
At one time he obtained a recommendation as a patient to the 
dispensary for the diseases of the eye and ear, in Charterhouse 
Square. The natural goodness and suavity of Mr. Saunders's 
disposition induced him to pay every attention to Cooke, who 
passed himself upon him as a reduced tradesman who had seen 
better days ; but, finding this old man would not be satisfied 
without engrossing a great deal more of his time than he could 
spare, he was at last induced to make some inquiry concerning 
his patient, and, learning who he was, he read him a very 
serious lecture on the meanness and impropriety of his conduct 
in thus obtaining gratuitously that which was only intended for 
the necessitous, and acquainted him that if he expected his 
future services he must give a fee, as was usual with other gen- 
tlemen. " Very well," said Cooke, " I am willing to pay any* 
thing in reason ; but, mark this, I expect to be cured first, for 
I always go upon the maxim of no cure nopay." Mr. Saunders 
rang the bell, desired the servant to call in the next patient in 
rotation, and, politely wishing Cooke a good morning, directed 
the servant to " open the street door for the gentleman." 

Another time he became so excessively troublesome to a 
physician, to whom he had paid about four or five half-guineas, 
that the doctor at last told him he had tried every remedy, and 
exerted all his skill, and could render him no farther service. 
" Then give me back my money, sir," said Cooke ; " why did 
you rob me of my money, unless you meant to cure me?" 
The doctor, whose chariot was waiting at the door for him, left 
the old man to vent his spleen in the study, to the no small 
diversion of the servants, and gave orders that he never should 
be admitted again. 

He once rang up the domestics of a medical gentleman at 
Islington at four o'clock in a winter's morning. On being asked 
his pleasure, he answered, "My pleasure is to see your master 
for I am in pain." " Sir, my master has been out at a labour 
all night, very much fatigued ; he is not well, and has not been 

16—2 ^- 


in bed above half an hour." " Don't tell me about his labours 
and his being unwell; doctors must get up at all hours, well or 
ill ; tell him he must come down. I do not come as a pauper ; 
I can pay for what I have." The servant went to tell his 
master, who sent his compliments to the gentleman, that he 
really was very ill, but that his assistant, a regularly bred and 
skilful young man, was then putting on his clothes to wait en 
him, and would, he was sure, supply his place to the satisfac- 
tion of the patient. "Then,'' said Cooke, "he may put off his 
clothes again, and go to bed ; I will have no assistant ; I will 
see none but the master. I have plenty of money in my 
pocket, and am willing to pay for what I have." At length 
the master came, and Cooke, in his usual way, kept him three 
quarters of an hour, giving a detail of his complaints. The 
doctor said he would make him up a small draught, that should 
relieve him in an instant. Being asked his charge, he said, 
" Only eighteen pence." — " Eighteen pence !" exclaimed Cooke; 
" I never heard of such extortion in my life ! Eighteen pence ! 
I thought you might have made me up something for two- 
pence ! " This said, he left the doctor to go to bed again. 

Soon after he went to live in White Lion Street, he sent for 
a Mr. Pigeon, a surgeon, who lived on the opposite side of the 
street, to examine an ulcer on his leg, which gave him a little 
temporary alarm, he being of a very gross habit of body. After 
the gentleman had duly inspected it, Cooke asked him if he 
could cure it. " Certainly, sir, 1 ' replied the surgeon. " How 
long do you think it will be before you can make a perfect cure 
of it V "A month." , " And how much must I give you ? " 
Mr. Pigeon, who saw that the sore was not of any great im- 
portance, answered, "A guinea." "Very well," replied Cooke; 
" but, mark this, when I agree for sums of such magnitude I go 
upon the system of no cure no pay ; so if I am not cured at the 
expiration of the month, I pay you nothing.'' This was agreed 
to. After a diligent attendance of several days, the wound was 
so near being healed, that Cooke expressed himself satisfied, 
and would not let Pigeon see it any more. However, within 
two or three days of the month being expired he got some sort 


of plaister from a farrier, and made a new ulcer on the place 
where the former had been, and, sending for Pigeon on the last 
day of the month, showed him that his leg was not well, and 
that, of course, the guinea he had agreed for was forfeited ! 
This story the old fellow used to tell himself with great satis- 
faction, and called it plucking a pigeon. 

When Doctor Lettsom was* in the practice of giving audience 
at his own house to patients, seldom a week passed, during the 
space of many years, without the attendance of Cooke, not in 
the character of the rest of the patients, who usually applied 
for advice, but in that of a pauper. After many years, long 
availing himself of the doctor's liberal disposition in thus ob- 
taining advice gratuitously, and scarcely ever going away from 
him without requesting a draught of the doctor's " excellent 
table-beer, after his fatigue of coming from Pentonville," he 
opened his heart one day, and presented the butler with the 
sum of a shilling ! On these occasions of procuring medical 
advice he was often intrusive and troublesome, by attempting 
to force his way to an immediate access to the doctor, in prece- 
dence of others who had been longer waiting, and who, of 
course, had a right to admittance in succession. The butler 
once interfering to prevent this intrusion, Cooke, with no little 
heat of temper, upbraided him with his ingratitude : " Why, 
you ungrateful rogue ! did not I give you a shilling 1 " The 
servant very coolly answered, "Yes, sir, I remember about nine 
months ago you did give me a shilling, and here it is for you 
again," presenting it to him. Cooke, instantly becoming more 
placid, pocketed the shilling, observing that it would be of use 
in buying something for him in his way home. 

In order to evince his gratitude, as he said, he told Dr. 
Lettsom that he would make an ample donation to any public 
charity which he should recommend. After the doctor had 
taken pains to explain to him the objects of different charitable 
institutions, he fixed upon the " Humane Society, for the re- 
covery of the apparently dead," intimating at the same time 
the amplitude of his fortune, and confirming it by bringing a 
will in his pocket, which he submitted to the doctor's inspec-. 


tion. About three months before his decease he confidentially 
assured Dr. Lettsom that, besides the ample provision he had 
made for his numerous relations, friends, and his two maid 
servants, and still more ample bequests to alms-houses, he was 
in possession of a surplus of forty thousand pounds unappro'. 
priated, and desired the doctor to specify such hospitals and 
dispensaries as he deemed most in want of funds for their sup- 
port, with an accurate account of the state of their finances 
that his forty thousand pounds might be appropriated in pro- 
portion to their wants and general utility. The doctor imme- 
diately set about procuring the necessary information, which, 
after having obtained with no small pains and trouble, he sent 
to Cooke ; but these objects of his profound munificence were 
never noticed in the real will ; and the disappointment could 
not but be felt by many of the friends of those public charities 
to which his attention had been recommended, whose expecta- 
tions were raised by fallacious promises, never intended to be 
realised. Of all the institutions which the doctor had pointed 
out to him as deserving his support, the Humane Society alone 
was remembered; but the ample donation of five hundred 
pounds set down in the will that he showed to Dr. Lettsom 
turned out to be, in his last will, a paltry bequest of fifty 
pounds ; and to the doctor himself, for the many years' plague 
and trouble he had with him, he left a plain gold ring ! 

Although Cooke was so very desirous of obtaining gratuitous 
advice and cheap physic for himself, he would not allow either 
of his females to be sick or ailing, or any medical or surgical 
relief to be afforded them when required. His housekeeper, 
Mrs. Strudwick, having a very bad ulcer on her leg, which dis- 
abled her from Walking, ventured to ask the advice of a medical 
friend. Unfortunately, it was in the presence of her master,' 
who swore there was nothing the matter with her but laziness, 
and would not permit the leg even to be looked at. As the 
woman was in great pain, the gentleman was obliged to make 
his visits early in the morning, before Cooke's time of rising j 
or else in those hours when it was known that the old gentle- 
man was gone to the Bank to buy-in stock. 


After the death of Mr. Eamsbottom, of Goswell House, the 
gentleman whom Cooke used to employ in the constant altera- 
tions of his wills (and to make a new one when he wanted to 
gain some particular point), the task was transferred to Mr. 
Jackson, of Bridgewater Square, whom Cooke had named one 
of his executors. To this gentleman he was an incessant tor- 
ment; but, even from him he took great care to keep one clause 
in his real will a secret, wherein he left Mr. Jackson only one 
hundred pounds, while each of his other executors were to have 
two. Mr. Jackson, however, by accident, got sight of this, 
clause, and on his inquiring of Cooke the reason of this diffe- 
rence, the old man gave him the following answer : "Why, sir, 
you are some years older than any of my other executors ; 
therefore it is probable that you will die before them ; now, sir, 
it would be very wrong that they, who would have to do the 
whole of the work after you were dead, should not have more 
than you, and therefore you must be content with one hundred 
pounds." " If that be your opinion," said Mr. Jackson, "strike 
my name out of your will entirely, for I will have nothing more 
to do with you." Cooke having thus lost this gentleman as his 
executor, after making inquiry for a fit person to place in his 
room, substituted the name of Mr. William Day, of Grace- 
church Street, in the next codicil. 

Mr. Cooke was not altogether unmindful of his religious 
duties. Until within a very few years of- his death he was a 
constant attendant at Divine Service on Sundays, and seldom 
missed attending the Sacrament. Some short time before his 
death, one of his executors observed to him that he had omit- 
ted to remember his two servants in his will ; the one who had 
faithfully served him as his housekeeper and nurse for upwards 
of ten years ; the other, who used to lead him about the streets, 
particularly to the Exchange-pump to regale himself, and who 
was also a good nurse to him during the time she lived with 
him ; but Cooke answered, " Let them be paid their wages to 
the day of my death — nothing more." On the gentleman's re- 
monstrating on the very great injustice it would be not to leave 
them something, all he could obtain was twenty-five pounds for 


one, and ten pounds for the other ; and even from that twenty, 
five, after his friend had left the room, he took the will and 
struck out the word five ! 

In 1811, he took to his bed, and he sent for several medical 
men in the hope of obtaining some relief, but all knew him so 
well that not one would attend, except Mr. Aldridge, who re- 
sided in White Lion Street. Cooke permitted this gentleman to 
send some medicine. On his last visit the old man very 
earnestly entreated him to say candidly, how long he thought 
he might live. Mr. Aldridge answered, that he might last six 
days. Cooke, collecting as much of his exhausted strength as 
he could, raised himself in bed, and darting a look of the 
keenest indignation at the surgeon, exclaimed, " And are you 
not a dishonest man ? a rogue ! a robber ! to serve me so ?"— 
" How, sir 1" asked Mr. Aldridge, with surprise. " Why, sir, 
you are no better than a pickpocket, to rob me of my gold, by 
sending two draughts a-day to a man that all your physic will 
not keep alive above six days ! Get out of my house, and 
never come near me again." During the last days of his 
existence he was extremely weak, and employed his few re- 
maining hours in arranging matters with his executors. He 
died August 26, 1811. The funeral which his executors gave 
him was probably more decent than the old gentleman intended 
it to have been. 

Thus lived, and thus died, unpitied and unlamented, in the 
86th year of his age, and possessed of a property of one hundred 
and twenty-seven thousand two hundred and five pounds thre&jper 
cent, consolidated Bank Annuities, a man, whose life was 
chequered with as few good actions as ever fell to the share of 
any person that has lived to so advanced an age. 


ST3E JFHalffiK^fflH. 

//w 2 £r/ ! e/,/< >?/ 

■ }/?/<*/> 

/'■//'r,. / 


Eve Fleigen, 

Who lived on the smell of Flowers. 

EVE FLEIGEN, or Vliegen, was a native of the Duchy of 
Cleve, in Germany. She is said to have lived long upon 
no other nourishment than the smell of flowers. Under one 
of the extant portraits of her are the following lines : — 

" 'Twas I that pray'd I never might eat more, , 

'Cause my step-mother grutehed me my food ; 

Whether on flowers I fed, as I had store, 

Or on a dew that every morning stood 

Like honey on my lips, full seventeen year. 

This is a truth, if you the truth will hear." 

Eve Fleigen would have heen just the wife for a noble poet 
of the present century, who hated to see women eat. 

This story may keep company with Pliny's relation of the 
Astomi, a people in East India, who -have no mouths, and are 
supported by the smell of roots, flowers, and wild apples ; and 
with that of the Chinese virgins, who are said to conceive by 
smelling at a rose. 

Yet the legend has a fine poetical sentiment underlying it. 
Has there not for all of us been a time when our heart was so 
full of the spring that — 

" It seem'd awhile that hounteous Heaven 
Nought else for man's support had given 
But sky, and trees, and flowers," 


Mary Anne Talbot, 

The Female Sailor. 

npHE adventures of this most extraordinary woman, who 
-*■ was better known by the name of John Taylor, will not 
fail to recall to the mind of the reader the well-known ballad 
of Billy Taylor, whose gentle, but heroic, fair one followed Mm 
to sea ; where — 

"She all bedaub'd her hands and face, sir, 
"With their nasty pitch and tar." 

We must premise, however, that in the narrative which we 
are about to present, we have nothing of originality to offer ; 
its substance being taken from a far more extended account of 
Mary Anne Talbot, said to be written by herself. 

According to the account here mentioned, she was the 
youngest of sixteen natural children, whom her mother, who 
died in child-birth of twins, had by the late Earl of Talbot. Of 
her mother's name, or family, nothing is known. She is under- 
stood to have been born in London, on the 2nd of February, 
1778, in the house, since occupied in part by Mr. Gosling, the 
banker, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. This information she derived 
from an elder sister. For the first five years of her life, she 
was kept at nurse, at a little village about twelve miles from 
Shrewsbury. She was then removed by the orders, as she 
supposes, of some friends of Lord Talbot's (that nobleman being 
then dead) to Mrs. Tapley's boarding-school, in Foregate 
Street, Chester : where she was educated, during the period of 
nine years, under the eye of her only surviving sister, already 
alluded to, who was the wife of a Mr. Wilson, of Trevalyn, in 
Denbighshire. Mary Anne regarded this sister as her parent, 
till she was about nine years old ; when the latter one day 
informed her of the contrary, and showed her a miniature of 
her deceased mother. This portrait made such an impression 
on her mind, that its features were never erased from her 


Mrs. Wilson, her sister, informed her, that, previously to her 
marriage, she was known as the Hon. Miss Dyer, the name of 
the family in which she had been brought up, and possessed a 
fortune of thirty thousand pounds, besides an income of fifteen 
hundred pounds a year. Mary Anne did not long enjoy the 
protection of her sister, who, unfortunately, died in child-birth, 
in the prime of life. "Within three months after her decease, 
a Mr. Sucker, of Newport, in Shropshire, assumed the authority 
of a guardian over Mary Anne, took her from school, and 
placed her in his own family, where he treated her with great 
severity, and inspired her with an absolute dread of his person. 
This she afterwards construed into a premeditated plan, that 
she might throw herself in the way of some person who would 
take her off his hands. We are at a loss to conjecture the 
motive for this conduct ; but certainly it must have been a bad 
one. In a short time, Mr. Sucker introduced her to a Captain 
Essex Bowen, of the 82nd regiment of foot ; whom he directed 
her to consider as her future guardian, appointed to superintend 
her education abroad. This gentleman, who professed an 
inviolable attachment to her family, escorted her to London, 
early in the year 1792. A youthful mind, like hers, was 
naturally delighted with the prospect of such a journey, and 
of arriving at such a metropolis. Captain Bowen con- 
veyed her to the Salopian Coffee-house, Charing Cross, to 
the landlady of. which he introduced her as his charge. 
He was not long before he effected the seduction of this infan- 
tine unfortunate ; after which he threw off the mask of tender- 
ness, and evinced manners of the most ruffian stamp. Without 
a friend to consult, or from whom to seek relief, it cannot be 
thought surprising that she should become the passive instru- 
ment of his will. 

In consequence of an order from his regiment, this son of 
Mars now found himself compelled to embark for St. Domingo ; 
but, determined on taking with him his young protegie, he com- 
pelled her to assume the attire of a foot-boy, remarking, that 
her figure was well adapted to such an office. Aware of his 
peremptory disposition, in a paroxysm of frenzy and despair, 


she yielded to the base proposal, and assumed the name of 
John Taylor. She accordingly sailed from Falmouth, for the 
West Indies, in the Crown transport, Captain Bishop, on the 
20th of March, 1792. Never, from the time that she went on 
board, did Captain Bowen suffer her to eat with him, but com- 
pelled her to live and mess with the ship's company. During 
their passage out, they suffered great distress of weather ; the 
pumps were kept constantly at work ; their guns, water, and 
part of their provisions, were obliged to be thrown overboard ; 
the crew were on the short allowance of a biscuit per day each ; 
for eight days they were wholly without water, excepting what 
they caught in their watch-coats, &c, from the heavens ; but 
though poor Mary Anne participated in all these hardships, she 
cautiously concealed her sex ! Her health became visibly im 
paired ; but after her arrival at Port-au-Prince, she soon re- 

Her stay, however, at St. Domingo, was but short, Captain 
Bowen's regiment being immmediately remanded to Europe, to 
join the troops on the continent, under the command of the 
Duke of York. Under the threat of sending her up the 
country, and disposing of her as a slave, her protector now com- 
pelled her to enroll herself in the regiment, as a drummer ; in 
which capacity she re-embarked and accompanied him to the 
coast of Flanders. Previously to her arrival at head-quarters, 
she was given to understand that she must be the drudge and 
foot-boy of Captain Bowen, as before, whenever the perform- 
ance of her duty, as a drummer, would permit. Her feelings 
were dreadfully galled ; but no opening yet presented itself for 

Subjected to all the alarms, and terrors, and hardships of a 
campaign ; compelled, during the frequent skirmishes which 
took place, to keep a constant roll upon the drum, to drown 
the heart-piercing cries of the wounded and of the dying, whilst 
her comrades were falling around her, the feeling mind may 
picture her sufferings, but no pen can adequately describe them. 
Towards the end of the siege of Valenciennes, on the very day 
that the Hon, Mr. Tolamache was killed, this unfortunate 


woman received two wounds : one from a musket ball, which, 
glancing between her breast and collar-bone, struck her rib ; the 
other, on the small of her back, from an accidental stroke of an 
Austrian trooper's broad-sword. From the dread of her sex 
being discovered, she carefully concealed her wounds, the cure 
of which she at length effected by the assistance of a little 
basilicon, lint and Dutch drops. 

1 In the attack upon the town, her tyrant was killed ; but, 
notwithstanding the brutality with which he had treated her, 
she could scarcely suppress the sudden emotion which she 
experienced on the intelligence, or check the tear which started 
for his fate. She, however, searched for, and found his body ; 
by which means she obtained the key of his desk, where she 
found several letters relating to herself. They were part of a 
correspondence between Captain Bowen and Mr. Sucker. 
These she carefully preserved by sewing them up under the 
shoulder-straps of her shirt. 

Though relieved from her cruel oppressor, Mary Anne's situ- 
ation was yet truly distressing. She was in a strange country, 
without a friend, labouring under excruciating pain, and her 
wounds so situated, that she could not reveal them without 
discovering her sex. In this dilemma, she determined to quit 
the regiment, and endeavour to return to England ; to which 
resolution she was prompted, in part, by having discovered, 
from Mr. Sucker's letters to Captain Bowen, that she had been 
grossly imposed on, in pecuniary concerns, money having been 
remitted for her which she never had received. She accord- 
ingly threw off her drummer's dress, assumed that of a sailor- 
boy, which she had reserved, and at length, by a circuitous 
route, avoiding towns and populous places, she reached Luxem- 
bourg. That town being in the possession of the French, she 
was not permitted to proceed any farther. From necessity, she 
here engaged with the commander of a French lugger, which 
she took for a trader, but soon found to be a privateer. This 
was in September, 1793. She was here subjected to the 
severest drudgery of the vessel. The Frenchman cruised 
about for four months, but without success, till at last he fell in 


with the British fleet, then in the Channel, under the command 
of Lord Howe. Mary Anne, with a spirit of patriotism which 
does her great credit, obstinately persisted in refusing to fight 
against her countrymen, though severely beaten by the French 
captain. After a slight resistance the lugger yielded; and Le 
Sage (the captain) and his crew were carried on board the 
Queen Charlotte, to be examined by Lord Howe. Being ques- 
tioned by his lordship, she stated, that being without friends 
in England, she had accompanied a gentleman to the continent 
in the capacity of a footboy. On the death of her master, 
she had, in the utmost distress, reached Luxembourg, under 
the hope of obtaining a passage home ; but finding that impos- 
sible, she had been forced to enter into Le Sage's vessel, having 
experienced, from the inhabitants of the place, no attention to 
her distress ; chiefly, as she supposed, from being English. 
Her determination, she added, from the moment that she 
engaged with the Frenchman, was to desert on the first oppor- 
tunity that appeared favourable to her design of getting to 
England ; but, had she known that Le Sage's intentions had 
been hostile towards her countrymen, she would rather have 
perished than entered his ship. 

Fortunately for our heroine, his lordship's inquiries were not 
too minute : she obtained a favourable dismissal, and was after- 
wards stationed on board the Brunswick, commanded by the 
late Captain Harvey, to whose memory a monument has since 
been erected in Westminster Abbey. Her post in the Bruns- 
wick was that of powder-monkey on the quarter-deck. She 
had not been long on board before her cleanliness and general 
manners attracted the notice of Captain Harvey, who ques- 
tioned her respecting her friends, and whether she had not 
clandestinely quitted school, to try the sea. Finding, by her 
answers, that she was not altogether what she appeared, Cap- 
tain Harvey most generously solicited her confidence, and 
proffered his services in her behalf. She related to him such 
of her adventures as were consistent with the concealment of 
her sex : he seemed much concerned, and appointed her to 
serve as principal cabin-boy. 


In the spirited action, to which the gallant Captain Harvey 
owed his death, Mary Anne was very actively engaged. Just 
before the coming up of the Eamilies, she received a severe 
wound above the ankle of her left leg, by a grape-shot, which 
struck on the aftermost brace of the gun, and rebounding on 
the deck, lodged in her leg. Three times she attempted to 
rise, but without effect ; and in the last effort the shattered 
bone penetrated the skin, so as wholly to incapacitate her for 
standing, had she been able to rise. Subsequently to this a 
musket-ball perforated her thigh, a little above the knee of the 
same leg. She lay in this crippled state till the action was 
over, when she was conveyed to the cock-pit ; but though sub- 
jected to the most excruciating pain, the grape-shot could not 
be extracted, through fear of injuring the tendons, amongst 
which it lay. On the arrival of the Brunswick at Spithead, 
Mary Anne was conveyed to Haslar Hospital, from which, 
after four months' attendance as an out-patient, having expe- 
rienced a partial cure, she was discharged. During the period 
here alluded to, she derived her support from money which 
she had previously received from her benefactor, Captain 

Soon after her discharge from the hospital she entered on 
board the Vesuvius, commanded by Captain Tomlinson. In 
this ship, which belonged to Sir Sydney Smith's squadron, she 
sailed from Spithead, cruised for some time off the French 
coast, and went to Gibraltar and back, without meeting with 
any occurrence deserving of notice. Off Dunkirk, however, 
the Vesuvius fell in with a couple of privateers, and being of 
inferior force, she was boarded and captured, after having 
ihaintained a running fight for seven hours. Mary Anne states 
that she served as a midshipman on board the Vesuvius, though 
she received only the pay of a common man ; and that she, 
and another young midshipman, named William Eichards, 
were taken on board one of the privateers, whilst the rest of 
the crew of the Vesuvius were conveyed on board of the other. 
Having been deprived of their dirks, Mary Anne and her com- 
panion were taken to Dunkirk, and confined in the prison— 


formerly, we presume, the convent of the Nuns of St. Clair — • 
in Church Street. There she was incarcerated for eighteen 
months, endured a severe illness, and was treated with much 
cruelty. In the earlier part of her confinement she projected a 
plan for escape, in conjunction with Richards. Their intention 
was to leap from the top of the prison, but being detected, they 
were afterwards confined in separate dungeons, where, Mary 
Anne declares, it was so dark, that, for eleven weeks, she never 
saw daylight, her only allowance all that time being bread and 
water, lowered down to her by a cord. Her bed was nothing 
but a little straw, which was never changed. Once she was so 
ill, for two days, as to be incapable of quitting her miserable 
pallet, and her wretched pittance of bread and water was 
drawn up untouched. Nature, however, performed the part 
of a skilful physician, and when she recovered, her sorry fare 
was devoured with more genuine relish than the pampered ap- 
petite of an epicure enjoys over his daintiest dish. 

Mary Anne's imprisonment was not wholly unserviceable. 
Among the prisoners was an ingenious German, who lessened 
the hardships and privations of his confinement by the dis- 
posal of various trinkets which he manufactured in a peculiar 
manner from gold wire. By frequent and attentive observa- 
tion Mary Anne acquired the art, which she turned to some 
account after her arrival in England. If her statement be cor- 
rect, the chains of the bracelets which Queen Charlotte wore 
in the royal procession to St. Paul's, in commemoration of our 
great naval victories, were made by her, whilst she worked 
with a jeweller, of the name of Loyer, in Denmark Street, by 
order of Messrs. Gray and Constable. 

An exchange of prisoners at length took place, above five 
weeks after her recovery, and Mary Anne obtained her liberty ; 
but, from the time of attempting to escape, she did not see her 
friend Richards till she met him by chance in London. 

From certain physical causes, into an explanation of which 
it is here unnecessary to enter, the first obtrusion of light 
always produces a distressing sensation in the eyes of persons 
who have been confined for any considerable length of time in 


darkness. Mary Anne experienced this sensation in a very- 
painful degree, particularly as she was altogether in a very 
weak state, and as the surrounding country exhibited a chalky 
appearance. The reflection of light from a white surface is far 
more powerful than from a superficies of any colour whatsoever, 
a circumstance to which, in a great measure, may be ascribed 
that dreadful disorder the ophthalmia. The sun's rays are re- 
flected with accumulated brilliancy and heat from the white 
and burning sands of Egypt. 

Mary Anne intended to return immediately to England, but 
chance gave her adventures another direction. Whilst passing 
through Church Street she overheard a gentleman inquiring 
for a lad who might be willing to go to America in the capa- 
city of ship's steward, and immediately tendered her services. 
The person proved to be a Captain Field, of the Ariel, an 
American merchantman. A bargain was struck, and it was 
agreed that she should have fifty pounds, besides what she could 
make, for the passage from Dunkirk to New York, and thence 
to England, part of the money to be advanced to fit her out. 
She accordingly sailed for New York, in August, 1796. 
Whilst in America she resided chiefly on shore with Captain 
Field's family at Ehode Island. Whether the American fair 
ones have any peculiarity of taste in their love affairs we know 
not ; but Mary Anne, who seems to have been a great favourite 
with all the family, actually made a conquest of the Captain's 
niece ! Nor was this an attachment to be easily broken off. 
The young lady — the American young lady — went so far as to 
propose marriage ; and, to the last hour of her beloved's resi- 
dence at Ehode Island, did she indefatigably endeavour to ac- 
complish her object. Previously to her departure, Mary Anne 
was under the necessity of presenting her portrait to her mis- 
tress, for which she sat in the full uniform of an American 
officer, and paid the sum of eighteen dollars. 

Mary Anne had not proceeded more than two miles from 
Ehode Island towards the ship, to sail for England, when she 
was overtaken by a servant, informing Captain Field and her- 
self that her innamorata was in strong fits. Humanity, of course, 



compelled their return, and they found the young lady in the 
state described. With great difficulty she was recovered ; and 
our heroine, who certainly supported the inale character with 
considerable address, soothed her with the promise of speedily 
returning from England, and then took her final departure, 
leaving the love-sick fair " to sigh alone, and think on what 
was past." 

After a favourable passage the Ariel arrived in the Thames, 
in the month of November, 1796. . Captain Field intended to 
remain in England no longer than was necessary to discharge 
his cargo and obtain a fresh one ; and as he had behaved with 
great kindness towards Mary Anne, she determined to proceed 
with him on a trading voyage up the Mediterranean. Another 
inducement to this determination was, that he had frequently 
intimated his intention of retiring, and of resigning the com- 
mand of the ship to her in the course of another voyage or two. 

A fresh adventure now presented itself, which afforded addi- 
tional proof that Mary Anne was by no means deficient in 
courage: Captain Field having engaged a couple of freslt 
hands, his Steward took their descriptions, &c, in the cabin, 
whilst some loose cash and bank notes were lying on the desk. 
The money did not escape notice. In the middle of the night 
a crash was heard at the upper cabin door, as though it had 
been forced. Alarmed at the instant, our heroine sought for 
the tinder-box, instead of which her hands alighted on a brace 
of pistols ; unfortunately they were not loaded. A more vio- 
lent attempt was now made at the inner door, when, recollect 
ing the situation of a sword, she seized it, and at the instant 
Tvhen the door gave way, by a third effort, she made a thrust. 
Neither groan nor noise was heard : the . intruder retired in 
silence. From the difficulty she had found in drawing the 
sword back, Mary Anne was convinced that it must have 
wounded deeply. Having found the tinder-box, she obtained 
a light, made the door secure, and sat up till morning. One of 
the new hands was then found to be in bed, being unwell, as 
he said, from an accident which he had met with, the evening 
before, in getting into his berth. When Captain Field came on 


board, the man was examined, and was found to have received 
such a wound in the thigh as sufficiently revealed the nature of 
his accident. Being in a dangerous state, he was sent to St. 
Thomas's Hospital ; and, as the ship sailed before he was cured, 
he escaped prosecution. 

Some days after this she went on shore accompanied by the 
mate, both of them in sailors' clothes, for the sake of amuse- 
ment. Just as they were about to land at St. Catherine's 
Stairs, they were assailed by a press-gang ; and, as Mary Anne 
was somewhat obstreperous, she was tumbled out of the boat, 
and received a wound on the head from a cutlass. They were 
afterwards taken on board the tender, whence the mate, having 
his protection in his pocket, soon obtained his liberation. Our 
heroine was less fortunate : she had left hers in the ship ; and, 
as the mate was violently attached to Captain Field's niece, he 
informed the regulating officer that his companion was an 
Englishman ; thus thinking to rid himself of a dangerous rival. 
Mary Anne received her liberty only by the disclosure of her 
sex. After this event, she sent for her friend Captain Field, to 
whom also she imparted her secret. He was anxious for her 
to continue her disguise and return with him to America, but 
that she declined. 

We have now arrived at what may be considered as an 
epoch in the life of our heroine. From the period here alluded 
to, her adventures were confined to terra firma; and We may, 
perhaps, find it expedient to relate the remainder of them with 
more brevity than we have hitherto adopted. 

Finding herself at leisure, after her discharge from the ten- 
der, she made numerous applications to the Navy Pay-office, 
Somerset House, for money due to her for service on board the 
Brunswick and the Vesuvius ; ,but, meeting with repeated dis- 
appointments, her language was one day somewhat indecorous, 
and she was conveyed to Bow Street. There she underwent a 
long examination, but was at length dismissed: and several 
gentlemen, commiserating her sufferings, entered into a sub- 
scription, from which she received twelve shillings a-week, till 
she got her money from the Navy-office, in the name of John 



Taylor. By the recommendation of some of the gentlemen 
who thus interested themselves in her behalf, she was placed in 
a lodging, the keeper of which was strictly enjoined to break 
her, if possible, of her masculine habit. This, however, would 
have been a task not easily to be accomplished, as will be evi- 
dent from the following facts. 

Whilst living on the money which she received as wages 
from the American captain, she used to frequent the theatres, 
and certain well-known houses in the neighbourhood of Covent 
Garden, where she was soon known as a bon compagnon. Thus 
she became acquainted with Haines, the notorious highwayman, 
who at a subsequent period atoned for his crimes by swinging 
in chains upon Hounslow Heath. Ignorant of his profession, 
she one evening, in a fit of low spirits, mentioned the shortness 
of her cash, when Haines, clapping her on the shoulder, ex- 
claimed, " Damn it, my fine fellow, I'll put you up to the best 
way in the world to get the supply you stand in need of." 
Leaving the house together, he proposed an excursion upon the 
road, and actually furnished her with money to equip herself on 
the occasion, her sailor's habit not being thought adapted to 
the purpose. She accordingly bought a pair of buckskin breeches 
and boots, and met Haines, with six others, at a place appointed 
on the following evening. . There she also received a brace of 
pistols ; but, when everything was ready for their departure, 
thoughts of danger, dishonour, &c, flashed across her mind, 
and she prudently declined the enterprise. 

This adventure inspired her with serious ideas of seeking 
employment, and led her to apply to Mr. Loyer, the jewel- 
ler, whom we have already mentioned. She remained with 
him some time; but, not receiving pay equal to what she 
thought herself entitled to, she left his employ. Whilst with 
him, however, she became a member of a lodge of Odd-Fellows, 
at the Harlequin, in Drury Lane, and was probably the only 
female belonging to that society. At the time of admission, 
her sex, of course, was unknown. 

Mary Anne did not continue long in the lodging which had 
been provided for her. She considered her landlady as un- 


grateful for representing her as unbecomingly inclined to mas- 
culine propensities, such as smoking, drinking of grog, &c, 
though she protested that she never took any of the latter with- 
out inviting the ingrate to participate, and that the latter was 
never backward in taking a good allowance. 

In the month of February, 1797, the grape-shot, which had 
remained in her leg from June, 1794, worked out of itself. 
This she attributed to her too free use of spirituous liquors. 
Her leg being in a very bad state, she obtained admission into 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, whence, after having several pieces 
of shattered bone extracted, she was discharged. The cure, 
however, was not complete : she was afterwards in different 
hospitals, and under the care of several medical men, but with- 
out receiving permanent relief. 

The subject of this sketch had at one time acquired so much 
notoriety, that a female mendicant adventurer, of five feet ten 
inches high, attempted to pass herself off, in a light horseman's 
dress, as the John Taylor who had fought in the Brunswick. 
Suspected of being an impostor, she was taken before Justice 
Bond, at Bow Street. Mary Anne was then in the Middlesex 
Hospital, but, on being sent for, attended to confront her 
double. When the real Simon Pure appeared, the woman soon 
confessed the imposition, and was sent to the House of Cor- 

On returning from this business, Mary Anne had an acci- 
dental rencontre with a hairdresser, who, mistaking her for 
another person, to whom he owed a grudge, knocked her down, 
cut her head, and materially hurt her wounded leg by kicking 
her. For this unmanly act — for Mary Anne was then in female 
attire — le friseur was tried at the next quarter sessions, and 
sentenced to pay ten pounds as a compensation for the injury 

In, 1799 Mary Anne was a second time an inmate of the 
Middlesex Hospital, whence she escaped without the loss of a 
limb, by a very remarkable circumstance. Previously to her 
going in she had taken the charge of a little motherless boy 
about three years old. The child, during her confinement in 


the hospital, was under the care of two young ladies. Unfor- 
tunately they took the infant to dine with them, on board of a 
West Indiaman in the river, and, through want of attention, 
he fell overand was drowned ; at least, so the case was repre- 
sented. At the moment when Mary Anne received this dis- 
tressing intelligence her leg had been ordered for amputation, 
and was in a state preparatory for that operation. Frantic at 
the loss, and regardless of the consequences to herself, she re- 
moved the screw bandage from her leg, and walked to Her- 
mitage Stairs, off which the child was understood to have been 
drowned, without experiencing the slightest pain or impediment 
in her progress. The body of the child, however, was never 
found ; and Mary Anne had some reason for thinking that, in- 
stead of having been drowned he had been carried off. 

About a fortnight after this event her leg became as bad as 
ever, and she obtained admission into the Marylebone Infirmary, 
where she obtained considerable relief. 

Amidst her sufferings Mary Anne had the consolation of en- 
joying a pension of twenty pounds a year from Queen Charlotte ; 
and at different times she received handsome presents from 
several noble personages, amongst whom were the Duke and 
Duchess of York, the Duke of Norfolk, &c, Once, at Bucking- 
ham House, after having petitioned the Duke of York, she had 
the honour of kissing the Queen's hand in private. 

It is now requisite to state that, in consequence of the recom- 
mendation of Justice Bond, Messrs. Winter and Hay, of Long- 
acre, wrote several times to Mr. Wilson, of Trevallyn, to pro- 
cure some particulars relative to the birth and expectations of 
Mary Anne, but without receiving any answer. She therefore 
determined on a personal application to Mr. Sucker. She ac- 
cordingly went to Shrewsbury in the mail, and proceeded thence 
to Mr. Sucker's residence at Newport, in a return chaise. She 
declined mentioning her name, but sent in word by the servant 
that a lady wished to speak with him. This effort failing of 
success, she returned to Shrewsbury, procured an ensign's uni- 
form, hired a horse, rode back to Mr. Sucker's, and sent in a 
message that a gentleman, knowing the late Captain Bowen, 


had something to communicate. She now obtained an audi- 
ence, and on inquiring of Mr. Sucker if he knew Miss Talbot, 
or could give any information concerning her,' she received for 
answer that he had known her well, and that she died abroad 
in 1793. He had letters, he said, in his ' possession which in- 
formed him of that fact. By a certain mark upon her forehead 
Mary Anne instantly proved the falsehood of his assertion, 
identified herself as Miss Talbot, drew her sword, and declared 
that he was her prisoner, and should account to her for what 
she supposed he had defrauded her of. He appeared surprised 
and confounded, repeatedly exclaimed that he was a ruined 
man, and, trembling, abruptly left the room. 

Mary Anne now went to Shrewsbury, intending to consult a 
lawyer on the business, but not meeting with one she returned 
to Mr. Sucker's, with the intention, if possible, of getting some 
information respecting her family, &c; She learned however, 
that her ci-devant guardian had suddenly left his house ; and in 
less than three days after he was found dead in his bed, without 
having, evinced any previous symptoms of illness, at a place a 
little distance beyond Newport. 

Much distressed at her disappointment, Mary Anne would 
have proceeded to Mr. Wilson's, at Trevallyn, but was incapa- 
citated for want of money : she therefore returned spiritless to 

At a loss for an eligible mode of employment, she at one 
time turned her attention to theatricals, and became a member 
of the Thespian Society, in Tottenham Court Eoad. At such 
theatrical seminaries it is customary for the embryo performers 
to assume such characters as happen to hit their fancy, rather 
than to confine themselves to such parts as nature may have 
furnished them with the requisites for. Mary Anne, however, 
neither raved as Bichard nor sighed as Eomeo, but figured 
away as Juliet, Floranthe, Irene, Adeline,' -Lady Helen, &c, 
sometimes favouring the audience with low comedy, in such 
parts as Mrs. Scout and Jack Hawser. In the latter, it may 
be presumed, she was quite au fait. This pursuit, however, 


proved more pleasant than profitable, and Mary Anne was 
compelled to abandon it. 

This lady, in the course of her adventures, occasionally fell 
into very extraordinary scrapes. Once she was robbed of a]l 
her clothes by a soldier's trull, who was afterwards trans- 
ported, and, but for charity, she would not have had an article 
to wear. Another time, by the malice of her landlady's sister, 
she was summoned before the commissioners of the Stamp 
Office for wearing hair-powder without a licence. On this oc- 
casion she wittily defended herself by stating that, though she 
had never worn powder as an article of dress, she had fre- 
quently used it in defence of her king and country. The con- 
sequence was, that a handsome collection was made for her in 
the office. An order was one day left at her lodgings, pur- 
porting to be signed by Colonel Fisher, who was represented to 
have interested himself greatly in her behalf, for nine guineas, 
on the house of Cox and Co., but on inquiry it was treated by 
Colonel Fisher as a forgery, by which Mary Anne had nearly 
been involved in very unpleasant circumstances. 

Some time after this she was arrested at the suit of her land- 
lady for upwards of eleven pounds, and thrown into Newgate, 
whence she was liberated by the Society for the relief of per- 
sons confined for small debts, the plaintiff consenting to take 
five pounds, though she had previously refused six guineas, for 
her demand. Before the period of her emancipation, however, 
Mary Anne had nearly been turned out of Newgate. At one of 
the evening convivial meetings which are held in that abode 
of jollity and misery, having equipped herself in male attire, 
she officiated as president of the club ; and after a regale of 
singing, smoking, and drinking, when the hour of separation 
arrived, she was conducted into the lobby as a stranger. A 
remonstrance, however, on her part set things to rights. 

She had not long quitted Newgate before she was plunged 
into fresh troubles. A person had become indebted to her for 
washing, mending, &c, and for money lent, which she had 
pledged her clothes to procure, to the amount of thirty-eight 

a*. . . ■.^.i3:vr:^>»r.-:...K?:.,;..:.::«rt-l™i.Ui*¥.J. 

Engrave d-lvy K-.C6 op er 



pounds. She believed him to be .a man of property, but he 
did not pay her, and she was compelled to arrest him. About 
the same time, being in great distress, her trunk, containing all 
her letters and papers, with some needle-work which she had in 
hand, was stopped for a week's rent — a circumstance which 
enabled her debtor to enter a non pros to her action, from her 
inability of producing her papers requisite to prove the debt. 
Whether she ever renewed the process, or obtained the money, 
we know not. She arrested her landlord in an action of trover 
for the property detained, but, owing to some error in the pro- 
ceedings, her suit for that time failed. 

On taking a survey of the numerous incidents in the life of 
this female, it will be admitted, that few have experienced a 
succession of such unusual adventures. That she was deficient 
in that firmness and rectitude of mind, which shield their pos- 
sessors from error, as well as from crime, must we think also 
be admitted. From her early misfortune, she was ever an 
object of pity ; but, whilst we commiserate her sufferings, and 
extol her intrepidity, let us be careful of setting her up as an 
object of admiration, or as a model for the youthful mind to 
emulate. She must be regarded rather as a beacon to warn 
from danger, than as a friendly light to lead to safety. 

Renwiek Williams, 

Commonly called the Monster. 

'"PHIS " man of dark imaginings," commonly known by the 
*■ name of the Monster, was the son of an apothecary in 
Broad Street, Carnaby Market. He lived a few years with a Mr. 
Gallini, as clerk ; and then commenced the business of artificial 
flower maker. His unnatural and unaccountable propensities in 
maliciously cutting and stabbing females, wherever he found 
them unprotected, soon made him a terror to the metropolis : his 


behaviour was so revolting to the feelings, and carried with it 
such hellish appetite and dreadful consequences, that it is 
impossible to describe the horror he spread. Indeed it was 
proposed that public associations should be formed, in order the 
more effectually to apprehend him, and bring him to punish- 
ment. He carried on his diabolical purposes for nearly a year, 
notwithstanding every exertion was made to detect him. On 
the 5th of May, 1789, he stabbed Elizabeth Davis in the hip; 
then he assaulted Miss Foster in the same manner, as she was 
coming from the play. On January 18, 1790, he stabbed Miss 
Ann Porter, as she was coming from the Queen's Palace ; upon 
which he was publicly advertised. He was described as a dark 
looking man, five feet seven inches high, long nose and face ; 
generally wearing a cocked hat ; his hair dressed ; and his 
appearance altogether genteel. It was supposed he had accom- 
plices, as from the many assaults that had been cruelly com- 
mitted, most people imagined it impossible one person could 
have inflicted them ; but we hope in charity he had no accom- 
plice ; that he was a character that stood alone and aloof from 
the rest of his species. 

At length, by the perseverance of Mr. Coltman (an acquaint- 
ance of Miss Porter's), he was apprehended on Sunday, June 13, 
1790; and the next day was brought up for examination; 
when many females appeared to identify him. Some of those , 
who had been wounded could not swear to his person ; but the 
two Miss Porters, two Miss Baughams, Miss Anne Frost, Miss 
Anne West, and Elizabeth Davies, spoke positively as to his 
being the perpetrator ; whereupon he was committed to New- 
gate to take his trial. So great was the detestation in which 
he was held, that it was with the greatest difficulty the police 
officers could prevent him from falling a prey to the indignation 
of the people. 

He was indicted under the Act of 6th Geo. II. sec. 11, for 
felony ; and it was a fortunate circumstance for him, that a 
later act of parliament relative to cutting and maiming was 
not then in force ; for if it had been, the affair would most pro- 
bably have ended fatally for Williams. 


His trial commenced on Thursday, July 8, 1790, at the 
Sessions House, Old Bailey. He was arraigned upon seven 
indictments for cutting and maiming several females. He was 
tried first on the indictment of Miss Porter ; who deposed, that 
on her coming through St. James's Park, on the 18th of Jan- 
uary, 1790, she met Williams, who followed her till she arrived 
at her father's house in St. James's. Street, when as she was 
ascending the steps, she received a violent cut on the right 
hip ; the blow was so great that she was stunned. This was 
corroborated by her sisters ; and a Mr. Tomkins, surgeon, 
deposed, that the cut Miss Porter received, was nine or ten 
inches long, and about three inches deep. 

The prisoner being called upon for his defence, begged the 
indulgence of the court, in supplying the deficiency of his 
memory upon what he wished to state, from a written paper. 
He accordingly read as follows : — 

" He stood an object equally demanding the attention and compas- 
sion of the court. That, conscious of his innocence, he was ready .to 
admit the justice of whatever sufferings he had hitherto undergone 
arising from suspicion. He had the greatest confidence in the justice 
and liberality of an English jury, and hoped they would not suffer 
his fate to be decided by the popular prejudice raised against him. 
The hope of proving his innocence had hitherto sustained him. 

" He professed himself the warm friend and admirer of that sex 
whose cause was now asserted : and concluded with solemnly declar- 
ing that the whole prosecution was founded on a dreadful mistake, 
which he had no doubt but that the evidence he was about to call, 
would clear up, to the satisfaction of the court." 

Several witnesses came, who stated that Williams was at 
work the whole of the evening of the 18th of January ; they 
also gave the prisoner the character of a quiet, harmless crea- 

Judge Buller then charged the jury, who immediately re- 
turned a verdict of guilty. 

He was next tried on two indictments for assaulting Eliza- 
beth Davies and Elizabeth Baugham, and found guilty. He 
was then sentenced to two years' imprisonment in Newgate for 
the assault on Miss Porter, two years for Elizabeth Davies, and 


two years for Miss Baugham ; and to find sureties, himself in 
£200 and two in £100 each. 

As we cannot find any further notice of this man, we suppose 
his sentence entirely eradicated those diabolical propensities 
which so degraded the name of Eenwick Williams. What time 
he paid the debt of nature is therefore uncertain. 

Jenny Darney, 

A Character in Cumberland. 

' I 'HIS remarkably inoffensive poor woman was well known 
-*- in the southern part of the county of Cumberland. She 
was one of the many " singles" whom Fate decreed should pass 
her probationary life secluded from the " busy hum of men." 
We have not been able to learn any particulars respecting her 
family, friends, or name ; for when questioned on those sub- 
jects, she was very reserved. The country people knew her by 
the name of Jenny Barney, from the manner, it is presumed, 
in which she used to mend her clothes. Her garb was entirely 
of her own manufacture. She collected the small parcels of 
wool which lie about the fields in sheep farms, spun it on a 
rock and spindle of her own making ; and as she could not 
find any other method of making the yarn into cloth, she used 
to knit it on wooden needles, and by that means procured a 
warm comfortable dress. 

In the life-time of Mr. Charles Lutwidge, of Holm Book, 
she took possession of an old cottage, or rather a cow- 
house, on his estate, in which she was suffered to continue till 
her death. Her intellect seemed at certain times greatly 
deranged ; but her actions harmless, and her language inoffen- 
sive. On that score, she was caressed by all the villagers, who 
supplied her with eatables, &c. ; for money she utterly refused. 
She seemed a person of much shrewdness, and her understand- 

En. gr are d "by R- C o op ?r. 

^yt 'dAem^rdaruy Waamr-fer- {.n/'&i/ym/'elM-miC'''. 


ing was above the common level : this was improved by a 
tolerable education. She chose the spot where she lived, to 
pass the remainder of her days unknown to her friends, and in 
a great measure from a distaste of a wicked world, to " prepare 
herself," as she often in her quiet hours said, " for a better." 
At the time of her death, she was nearly 100 years old. 

Jenny Darney was another of the many proofs to what great 
age persons who live a retired and abstemious life, mostly 

Samuel Terry, 

The Botany Bay Rothschild. 

A S it is to be apprehended that the disclosure of the im- 
■*"*- mense wealth which an individual outlawed for his 
crimes has left behind him might operate in a detrimental way 
upon the lower classes of society, we have gathered a few data 
of his biography, which will show what the man really was, 
and thus serve as an antidote against the dazzling effect which 
mere figures generally produce on the unthinking and profane. 
It is only in consideration of the utility, which we trust will 
result from our undertaking, that we like to intrude upon the 
private life of an individual, whose actions (the most tangible 
ones at least) whilst in New South "Wales would not have 
otherwise made him an object of either public praise or open 
censure. For the sake of giving a substantial basis to the fol- 
lowing lines, we will just mention, that the property left by 
the late Mr. Samuel Terry, of Sydney, New South Wales, 
amounted to nearly a million sterling, and that he bequeathed 
his wife £10,000 for life. 

Our hero was transported to New South Wales when very 
young, and, as far as we know, for neither an atrocious nor 
Consequential crime, some say for stealing geese. We do not 


know either when he got married, and only remark, that his 
wife was the widow of a man who had undergone the utmost ' 
penalty of the law. Under such circumstances it is easy to 
perceive to what kind of exertions Samuel Terry would pro- 
bably resort, as soon as he should obtain some indulgence, so 
profusely granted in those times — he established a small sly 
grog and pawnbroker's shop. Spirits were then a guinea a 
bottle, and tobacco retailed for the weight of silver. To him 
resorted convict servants with some worn or questionable 
clothes, or other such property, which he again circulated 
amongst associates and friends — 

" Higgling with convicts for their dirty clothes." 

It is easy to be conceived how, in a sprouting-up colony, en- 
livened by the liberal grants of the British Treasury, such a 
business was capable of being increased, and how it was really 
increased. But even with all this, we must look deeper into 
Samuel Terry's character, in order to explain, how, even 
under the very favourable circumstances of those colonial times, 
he could have laid the foundation of his subsequent large for- 
tune. Samuel Terry possessed qualities (a few of them useful 
ones) which under adequate circumstances will always produce 
a similar effect. He was of perfectly sober and frugal habits, 
he was active and industrious ; and his whole philosophy con- 
sisted in having made up his mind never to give value with-- 
out obtaining, value for it, and, moreover, as much as only to 
keep his neck out of the halter or his legs out of chains. It is 
said that, notwithstanding, he was punished corporally in the 
colony, but we should not believe that this could have been 
the case to any extent, as it would necessarily have marred 
his increasing business. However, Samuel Terry was cunning 
enough, and not at all nice, to refuse any bargain where no 
legal danger was to be apprehended. He left several valuable 
grounds which he had purchased for a bottle of spirits; or he 
advanced spirits- and tobacco, sued, or caused to be sued, for 
the debt, and bought the ground at the sale of the sheriff. 
Whether Samuel Terry ever foresaw to what value land would 


rise in the colony, or whether it was accidental, and he endea- 
voured to amass the only sort of property which was to he had 
in his way,* suffice it to say, that as soon as this rise took place 
Samuel Terry was even on that score a rich man, and he must 
have found, to his great surprise, and at the same time satis- 
faction, that those acres of his in and near Sydney, hitherto 
covered with filth and rubbish, were now worth as much as if 
they were pasted all over with Bank notes. Samuel Terry en- 
tered subsequently into some shipping speculations, but his 
cunning and caution were so great, his economical habits so 
unalterable, that we do not hear that he ever sustained 
any considerable loss. It was at this time that being 
asked in some lawsuit, on his oath, how much he believed 
he was worth, he answered £90,000 sterling. "When, or 
at what time, Samuel Terry received his emancipation or 
free pardon, is a matter of indifference, because, with such a 
mass of wealth, he could always obtain it, or disdain its pos- 

It was at an early period of his career that he associated 
with the Freemasons, perhaps chiefly for the sake of having a 
right to be amongst some respectable men. However, we are 
induced to believe that his inborn and studied niggardliness 
forsook him in his relations with that fraternity, and we have 
heard of some slight acts of charity he then performed. But 
scarcely have we uttered this encomium when we are obliged to 
mention a dark spot in bis life. In the extensive business he 
was now engaged in he was obliged to have large amounts of 
cash about him, and one Sunday morning his " iron chest" 
(proverbial in Sydney) was robbed of some thousand sove- 
reigns. The deed was traced to a young convict who lived in 
Terry's service, and who, on account of his engaging figure and 
good behaviour, had been hitherto a favourite of the family, 
some gold coin having been found concealed in his shoes. He 
was capitally convicted. It is asserted that Samuel Terry ob- 
tained leave to visit him in the cell, when, under the ex- 

* In those times private soldiers — nay, emancipated convicts, and 
even ticket-of-leave men— obtained grants of landi • 


plicit promise of obtaining his pardon, he induced the boy to 
disclose to him the spot in the garden where the money had 
been planted. We should believe that in these times a man of 
Samuel Terry's affluence might have been able to obtain any- 
thing in New South Wales. At any rate, it is said that he 
had given his word — still the boy was hung. The story runs 
that Terry was afterwards haunted by the sight of the executed, 
and in moments of anger his relations reproached him with 
the murder of the lad. A similar tragical event is re- 
lated, in which General B — was concerned. This gentleman 
somehow or other got on intimate terms with Samuel Terry, 
and the latter lent him on one occasion £800. Mr. B— be- 
came afterwards embarrassed, when Samuel Terry sold his 
valuable farm and got himself possessed of it, which, as it is 
said, contributed at least to the subsequent mental aberration 
of that gentleman. And now, we ask any of our readers, even 
of that class we are more immediately addressing, whether 
there is any of them who would covet Samuel Terry's riches- 
riches, as it is already seen, tainted with the death of a 
favourite servant, and the madness of a friend ! We are sure, 
none ! none ! 

However, as even these are only, as it were, moral or ethic 
disadvantages, we are, as we before said, reluctantly compelled 
to show Samuel Terry in his domestic circumstances, and to 
investigate what comfort, enjoyment, and happiness, ever fell 
to his earthly lot. We will take up a period of about six years 
before his death, when Samuel Terry was in possession of about 
£50,000 sterling per annum, and in the very prime of life. 
He lived then in the same place he died in, viz., a not small, 
but unroomy, tasteful house in Pitt Anns, Sydney. He rode 
at times a clumsy old charger, and passed many hours of the 
day in talking, but in his shirt-sleeves. When he had a friend 
with him, and was obliged to send for a bottle of spirits to the 
party, he always smelt the breath of the servant, for fear 
that he might have drunk some. Mrs. Terry never kept a 
female servant ; she dressed in the most simple, nay, coarse 
manner, and was seen every Saturday on her knees scrubbing 


out the whole premises. But as we have again mentioned this 
female, who seems to have exercised some influence over her 
husband's conduct, it will not be out of the way to relate an 
anecdote of her, showing her niggardly, fearful, and narrow 

About the time we speak of a certain university-bred man 
arrived in Sydney, who was introduced to Samuel Terry by a 
gentleman of some rank. The conversation turned, amongst 
other things, upon a certain manufacturing plan which the 
former wished to execute in New South Wales. It was hinted 
at that Samuel Terry should take some interest in it, and 
£500 or £600 sterling mentioned as the sum required. Samuel 
Terry had listened with some attention to the proposal. When, 
however, the matter was again broached, a few evenings after- 
wards, Mrs. Terry addressed the company in the following 
strain : " Mr. Terry has no business to embark in speculations 
of which he does not understand the nature. You may say 
that the sum is only small, because Mr. Terry is a rich man ; 
but there were richer people than we are who, after all, died in 
great misery and distress." Who is it that does not see in 
these few words the pangs of a mind which, in the possession 
of a princely fortune, is still remembering painfully the priva- 
tions and the humbleness of its former life, and is continually 
haunted by the thought that, after all, misery and distress are 
still awaiting it 1 Although Samuel Terry, in the latter years of 
his life, discounted yearly £300,000 bills at 10 per cent., and as 
it is known that the rental of his houses at Sydney (of which he 
possessed an entire street), the produce of his farms, &c, 
amounted to at least £60,000 or £70,000 per annum, he yet 
lived upon £500 or £600 a year, at the utmost ; and thus 
it will be seen that his immense wealth was but a dead encum- 
brance upon him. We would, in this instance, compare him 
with a steam-carriage, of say two horses' power, upon which 
the apparatus of steam-engines of one hundred horses is stowed : 
still this dead burden does not increase the power or the im- 
portance of the vehicle in the least ; and thus we should say 
that Samuel Terry, by all his anxiety of mind and niggardli- 



ness, never was a man but of £500 or £600 per annum ; and 
this sum certainly it is easy to realize by less degrading and 
abject means than he had resorted to. 

But we will now mention facts which will not only exempt 
Samuel Terry from being an object of envy, but reduce him to ' 
that of a man to be truly pitied; and if the proverb saying, "End 
good, all good," is correct, it certainly can in its most pointed 
contrast be applied to him. About four years before his death, 
this hitherto strong and healthy man was seized with a paralytic 
stroke, which at once deprived him of the use of his right 
limbs. What a misfortune for a man without mental resources, 
without inward consolation, without, loving and sympathising 
friends ! # As Samuel Terry could not exercise now any active 
influence upon the members of his family, he became with some 
of them an object of contempt and scorn, whilst in the mean- 
time all their vicious propensities became apparent. His son 
had married a handsome and well-bred emigrant, but, being a 
drunken and brutal man, he lived with her on the worst terms 
possible, and, in one of his mad moments, broke open her head 
with an iron poker. Her relations appeared against him, and the 
magistrates committed him to take his trial. However, strange 
to say, he was (in a case which nearly threatened his life) 
admitted to bail, and the whole affair was subsequently made up 
with money. Even Samuel Terry himself was not exempted 
from the brutal frenzy of this imbecile son, and he abused and 
threatened him on many occasions. Samuel Terry, for the re- 
mainder of his life, was unable to move without the aid of two 
men, and thus extended in his open carriage, pale and bloated, 
he drove about the domain of Sydney a silent but impressive 
example for any one how illusive and worthless at times wealth 
is, especially with a man like him, and if obtained in a low and 
even questionable way. In these drives he was generally ac- 
companied by one of his convict servants, because, notwith- 
standing riches are omnipotent in penal colonies, even those of 
Samuel Terry could not influence respectable men to associate 
with him except on business. A Mr. M., however (formerly a 
Wesleyan missionary), when once in his carriage, broached 


cautiously the making of his will, and the conversation turned 
on the subject that Samuel Terry should bequeath one of his 
farms near Sydney, for the sake of establishing a house of 
refuge on a large scale, sufficiently endowed. We shall see 
presently that Samuel Terry's will did not in the least realize 
these philanthropic hopes and intentions of Mr. M. 

However, it is the unfortunate lot of men like the subject 
of this paper, that, even if they intend to be benevolent, they 
pitch upon men of their own stamp, and do not derive either 
the credit or satisfaction generally resulting from such acts. 

Some years back S. M became a Methodist, and constant 

attendant of sermons which a Mr. M'K had established. 

This man possessed the gift of uncommon good lungs, and 
voluntarily crying ; but was a thoroughly vulgar and Illiterate 
man. As it was impossible that he could subsist merely 
on preaching, he very properly established a tobacco shop, in 
which Samuel Terry assisted him with the loan of some hun- 
dred pounds ; yet, by his unbusiness-like and drunken habits, 
he failed after a couple of years, and was sold off. Samuel Terry, 
on finding himself mistaken in his protigS, or from the natural 
niggardliness of his character, put him into gaol, where M'K — 
remained for a long time, attempted suicide, and finally died 
miserably. However, it would be superfluous to extend this 
paper any further, as we are sure of having given, in these few 
lines, everything characteristic of Samuel Terry. His illness 
became more dangerous and more irksome from day to day, and 
he died in the beginning of 1838, only fifty-two years of age, 
and therefore just' at a period of life when riches, well and 
honourably obtained, may be most quietly and beneficially en- 
joyed and employed. His will was that of all vulgar misers — 
to wit, he left his entire property to such as consanguinity 
and chance had placed round him ; and there is not one word 
about a house of refuge, or anything of a public bearing, in it. 
The only provision approaching to it is, that all his benevolent 
subscriptions, perhaps £100 a year, should be continued for ten 
years to come. He requested also that his funeral should take 
place with masonic honours — perhaps again in order that 



some respectable men should have a pretext for following the 

Such was Samuel Terry, the richest outlaw that the Aus- 
tralian colonies have possessed, or ever will possess ; because 
times, and (very properly) circumstances also, have now won- 
derfully changed.; In a very few years Samuel Terry, the man, 
will be entirely forgotten, save in his substantial monetary 
capacity and cognomen, " The Botany Bay Bothschild." 

Daniel Lambert, 

Of surprising Corpulency. 

DANIEL LAMBEET was born on the 13th of March, 1770, 
in the parish of St. Martin, at Leicester. From the ex- 
traordinary bulk to which he had attained, the reader may 
naturally be disposed to inquire whether his parents were per- 
sons of remarkable dimensions. This was not the case, nor 
were any of his family inclined to corpulence, excepting an 
uncle and an aunt on the father's side, who were both very 
heavy. The former died during the infancy of Lambert, in the 
capacity of gamekeeper to the Earl of Stamford, to whose pre- 
decessor his father had been huntsman in early life. The family 
of Mr. Lambert senior consisted, besides Daniel, of another 
son, who died young, and two daughters of the common size. 

The habits of young Lambert were not in any respect dif- 
ferent from those of other young persons till the age of fourteen. 
Even at that early period he was strongly attached to all the 
sports of the field. This, however, was only the natural effect 
of a very obvious cause, aided probably by an innate propensity 
to those diversions. We have already mentioned the profession 
of his father and his uncle, and have yet to observe that his 
maternal grandfather was a great cock-fighter. Born and bred, 


Qjf^ym^H^tf'' &<?■ 


as it were, among horses, dogs, cocks, and all the other appen- 
dages of sporting, in the pursuits of which he was encouraged, 
even in his childhood, it cannot be matter of wonder that he 
should be passionately fond of all those exercises and amuse- 
ments which are comprehended under the denomination of field 
sports, as well as of racing, cock-fighting, and fishing. 

Brought up under the eye of his parents until the age of 
fourteen, he was then placed with Mr. Benjamin Patrick, in the 
manufactory of Taylor and Co., at Birmingham, to learn the 
business of a die-sinker and engraver. This establishment, then 
one of the most flourishing in that opulent town, was afterwards 
destroyed in the riots of 1795. 

Owing to the fluctuations to which all those manufactures 
that administer to the luxuries of the community are liable 
from the caprices of fashion, the wares connected with the pro- 
fession which had been chosen for young Lambert ceased to be 
in request. Buckles were all at once proscribed, and a total 
revolution took place at the same period in the public taste 
with respect to buttons. The consequence was, that a numerous 
class of artisans were thrown out of emplbyment, and obliged 
to seek a subsistence in a different occupation. Among these 
was Lambert, who had then served only four years of his ap- 

Leaving Birmingham, he returned to Leicester to his father, 
who held the situation of keeper of the prison in that town. 
Soon afterwards, at the age of nineteen, he began to imagine 
that he should be a heavy man, but had not previously per- 
ceived any indications that could lead him to suppose he should 
ever attain the excessive corpulence for which he was distin- 
guished. He always possessed extraordinary muscular power, 
and at the time we are speaking of could lift great weights, and 
carry five hundred-weight with ease. Had his habits been such 
as to bring his strength into action, he would doubtless have 
been an uncommonly powerful man. 

That he was not deficient either in physical strength or in 
courage is demonstrated by the following adventure, in which 
he was about this period engaged. 


Standing one day in his father's house at Leicester, his atten- 
tion was attracted by a company of Savoyards with their danc- 
ing dogs and bears, surrounded by an immense concourse of 
spectators. While they were exhibiting, a dog which had for- 
merly been accustomed to travel with a similar company of 
these grotesque performers, and now belonged to the county 
gaoler, hearing the sound flew furiously upon a very large bear, 
whose overpowering force and weight soon crushed him to the 
ground. " Give her tooth," said the Savoyards, irritated at the 
interruption of their exhibition, and making preparations to 
take off the muzzle of the bear. Lambert being acquainted 
with the master of the dog, and knowing that, in this case, the 
animal would be exposed to certain destruction, went out and 
addressed the people, with the intention of pacifying them and 
prevailing upon them to suffer the dog to be taken away. Deaf 
to all his remonstrances, one of the Savoyards still persisted in 
pulling off the muzzle, the dog being all this time underneath, 
and in the grasp of the bear. Enraged at the fellow's obsti- 
nacy, he protested he would kill the bear if it lay in his power, 
and snatching from the man's hand the paddle or pole with 
which they manage these animals, at the moment when the 
muzzle was removed, he struck the bear with all his force, fully 
intending to despatch her if possible. Bruin was for a moment 
completely stunned by the blow, and the dog seized that 
opportunity of disengaging himself from her clutches. En- 
raged at this fresh attack, she turned towards her new antago- 
nist, who kept repeating his strokes, but without being able to 
hit her head, which she protected from his blows with all the 
dexterity of the most accomplished pugilist. During these 
successive attacks, the dog, faithful to the friend who had so 
opportunely stepped to his aid, continued to exhibit the most 
astonishing proofs of undaunted intrepidity, till he was at 
length caught up by one of the bystanders. The weather was 
frosty, and the pavement was slightly glazed from the trund- 
ling of a mop. Here, while thus busily engaged in belabouring 
his formidable foe, Lambert fell, but rose again with the 
greatest agility. Bruin was now close to him ; he had a full 


view of her tremendous teeth, and he felt the heat from her 
breath. The danger became pressing ; and, as his shaggyfoe was 
too near to admit of his using the weapon, he struck her with his 
left hand such a violent blow on the skull as brought her to the 
ground, on which she declined the contest, and " yelling fled." 
During the fray, a smaller bear had been standing upright 
against a wall, with a cocked hat on his head ; in consequence 
of the retreat of his companion, this ludicrous figure now 
appeared full in front of the victorious champion, who bran- 
dished in his hand the uplifted pole. The beast, as if aware 
of his danger, and expecting to be attacked in his turn, in- 
stantly took off the hat, and, apparently in token of submis- 
sion, tumbled heels over head at the feet of the conqueror. 
Meanwhile the populace, terrified at the approach of ursa major, 
began to retire in a backward direction, still keeping the un- 
successful combatant in view, till they tumbled one after 
another over some loads of coal that happened to lie in the 
way. The scene now became truly ludicrous ; forty people 
were down at a time, and there was not one but what imagined 
himself already in the gripe of the irritated animal, and voci- 
ferated murder with all his might. The Savoyards, who were, 
after all, the greatest sufferers by this tragi-comic representa- 
tion, applied to the mayor; and demanded redress. The magis- 
trate inquired where the fray happened, and was informed that 
it took place in Blue Boar Lane, in the parish of St. Nicholas, 
the inhabitants of which have for many years been distin- 
guished by the appellation of Nick's Buffs. " Oh !" said he, 
" the people of that parish do just as they please, they are out 
of my jurisdiction ;" and gravely dismissed the disappointed 
complainants. It was two years before this company of itine- 
rant performers again ventured to make their appearance in 
Blue Boar Lane. On this occasion one who happened to be 
rather before the rest, perceiving Lambert sitting at his door, 
gave notice to the others, who, dreading a repetition of the 
treatment they had before experienced, instantly retreated by 
the way they had come. 
It was not very long after the above adventure that Lambert 


experienced an escape from a danger infinitely more alarming, 
and from the consequences of which no human exertions could 
possibly have preserved him. He was one of the numerous 
inhabitants of Leicester whom the memorable conflagration at 
the house of a well-known bookseller attracted to the spot. 
It was dark, and the fire was raging with the utmost fury, when 
Lambert passed along under a wall, which, from the falling of 
the others to which it had once been joined, now stood com- 
pletely detached. Just as he had reached the extremity, an 
acquaintance whom he accidentally found there, congratulated 
him on his narrow escape, at the same time pointing to the 
wall. Totally unconscious of the risk to which he had been 
exposed, and now standing in a line with the wall, he observed 
with horror that it rocked to and fro like corn in the breeze, and 
not many moments elapsed ere it fell with a most tremendous 

His father having resigned the office of keeper of the prison, 
young Lambert succeeded to the situation. It was within a 
year after this appointment that his bulk received the greatest 
and most rapid increase. This he attributed to the confinement 
and sedentary life to which he was obliged to submit, which 
produced an effect so much the more striking, as, from his 
attachment to sporting, he had previously been in the habit of 
taking a good deal of exercise. Though he never possessed 
any extraordinary agility, he was still able to kick to the 
height of seven feet, standing on one leg. 

About the year 1793, when Lambert weighed thirty-two 
stone, he had occasion to visit Woolwich in company with the 
keeper of the county gaol of Leicester. As the tide did not 
serve to bring them up again to London, he walked from Wool- 
wich to the metropolis with much less apparent fatigue than 
several middle-sized men who were of the party. 

The inhabitants of Leicester are remarkable for their expert- 
ness in swimming, an art which they are encouraged to prac- 
tise by their vicinity to the river Soar. From the age of eight 
years Lambert was an excellent swimmer ; and such was his 
celebrity, that for many years all the young people in his 


native town, who were learning to swim, resorted to him for 
instruction. His power of floating, owing to his uncommon 
bulk, was so great, that he could swim with two men of ordi- 
nary size upon his back. He used to relate that on these 
occasions, when any of his young pupils manifested any 
timidity, he would convey them to the opposite bank of the 
river from that on which they had laid their clothes, and there 
leave them to find their way back as well as they could. By 
these means they soon acquired that courage which is so indis- 
pensably necessary to the attainment of excellence in the art of 

Lambert's father died about five years after his son's appoint- 
ment to be keeper of the prison, which office he held till 
Easter, 1805. In this situation he manifested a disposition 
fraught with humanity and benevolence. Whatever severity 
he might be under the necessity of exercising towards the 
unhappy objects committed to his care during their confine- 
ment, he never forebore to make the greatest exertions to assist 
them at the time of their trial. Few left the prison without 
testifying their gratitude, and tears often bespoke the sincerity 
of the feelings they expressed. His removal from the office 
was in consequence of a wish, on the part of the magistrates, 
to employ the prisoners in the manufacture of the town. As a 
proof of the approbation which his conduct had merited, they 
settled upon him an annuity of £50 for life, without any soli- 
citation whatever ; and, what was still more gratifying to his 
feelings, this grant was accompanied with a declaration, that it 
was a mark of their esteem, and of the universal satisfaction 
which he had given in the discharge of the duties of his office. 

Such were the feelings of Mr. Lambert that he abhorred the 
very idea of exhibiting himself. Though he lived exceedingly 
retired at Leicester, the fame of his uncommon corpulence 
spread over the adjacent county to such a degree, that he fre- 
quently found himself not a little incommoded by the curiosity 
of the people, which it was impossible to repress, and which 
they were continually devising the means of gratifying in spite 
of his reluctance. 


A gentleman travelling through Leicester conceived a strong 
desire to see this extraordinary phenomenon ; but, being at a 
loss for a pretext to introduce himself, he first took care to 
inquire what were his particular propensities. Being informed 
that he was a great cocker, the traveller thought himself sure 
of success. He accordingly went to his house, knocked at the 
door, and inquired for Mr. Lambert. The servant answered 
that he was at home, but that he never saw strangers. " Let 
him know," replied the curious traveller, " that I called about 
some cocks." Lambert, who chanced to be in a situation to 
overhear what passed, immediately rejoined : " Tell the gentle- 
man that I am a shy cock." 

On another occasion, a gentleman from Nottingham was 
extremely importunate to see him, pretending that he had a 
particular favour to] ask. After considerable hesitation, Lam- 
bert directed him to be admitted. On being introduced, he 
said he wished to inquire the pedigree of a certain mare. 
" Oh ! if that's all," replied Lambert, perceiving from his 
manner the real nature of his errand, " she was got by Imper- 
tinence out of Curiosity.'' 

Finding, at length, that he must either submit to be a close 
prisoner in his own house, or endure all the inconveniences 
without receiving any of the profits of an exhibition, he wisely 
strove to overcome his repugnance, and determined to visit the 
metropolis for that purpose. As it was impossible to procure 
a carriage large enough, he had a vehicle constructed expressly 
to convey him to London, where he arrived, for the twenty- 
second time, in the spring of 1806, and fixed his residence in 

His apartments there had more the air of a place of fashion- 
able resort, than of an exhibition ; and, as long as the town con- 
tinued full, he was visited by a great deal of the best company. 
The dread he felt on coming to London, lest he should he ex- 
posed to indignity and insult from the curiosity of some of US' 
visitors, was soon removed by the politeness and attention 
which he universally experienced. There was not a gentleman 
in town from his own county, but went to see him, not merely 


gazing at him as a spectacle, but treating him in the most 
friendly and soothing manner, which he declared was too 
deeply impressed upon his mind ever to he forgotten. 

The spirit of politeness which always prevailed in the pre- 
sence of Lambert, was such as was, perhaps, never observed on 
a similar occasion, and it was a custom with his visitors to take 
off their hats. It is, however, but natural to suppose that 
among numbers who chose to gratify their curiosity, some few 
exceptions should occur. Thus one day a person perceiving, 
previous to entering the room, that the company were un- 
covered, observed to the attendant, that he would not take off 
his hat, even if the king were present. This rude remark being 
uttered in the hearing of Lambert, he immediately replied, as 
the stranger entered : — " Then by G — , sir, you must instantly 
quit this room, as I do not Consider it as a mark of respect due 
to myself, but to the ladies and gentlemen who honour me 
with their company.'' 

Many of those visitors seemed incapable of gratifying their 
curiosity to its full extent, and called again and again to behold 
to what an immense magnitude the human figure is capable of 
attaining ; nay, one gentleman, a banker in the city, jocosely 
observed, that he had fairly had a pound's worth. 

This great personage had the "pleasure of receiving people of 
all descriptions and of all nations. He was one day visited by 
a party of fourteen, eight ladies and six gentlemen, who ex- 
pressed their joy at not being too late, as it was near the time 
iof closing the door for the day. They assured him that they 
had come from Guernsey on purpose to convince themselves of 
the existence of such a prodigy as he had been described to be 
by one of their neighbours who had seen him ; adding, that 
they had not even one single friend or acquaintance in London, 
so that they had no • other motive whatever for their voyage. 
A striking illustration of the power of curiosity over the human 

Great numbers of foreigners were gratified with the contem- 
plation of a spectacle, unequalled, perhaps, in any other coun- 
try. Among these a Frenchman, accompanied by a Jew, 


seemed extremely desirous, from motives best known to him- 
self, of persuading Lambert to make an excursion to the con- 
tinent, and insinuating that under his guidance and management 
he could not fail of obtaining the greatest success. " Vy you 
not go to France 1" said he, "I am sure Buonaparte vil make 
your fortune." Supposing that such an inducement must prove 
irresistible, he added, " Den vont you go to Paris V Lambert, 
who had too much good sense, to be the dupe of a designing 
monsieur, rejoined in an emphatic style — " If I do, I'll be 
damned." — " Vat you tink of dat now J" cried the astonished 
Jew to his mortified and disappointed companion. 

Among the numerous foreigners who anxiously witnessed 
this unequalled spectacle, was Count Borulawski, the celebrated 
Polish dwarf, who had acquired an ample fortune by exhibiting 
his own person. The great contrast of these figures afforded 
high entertainment to the spectators. During Lambert's 
apprenticeship at Birmingham he went several times to see 
Borulawski, and such was the strength of the count's memory, 
that he had scarcely fixed his eyes upon him in Piccadilly 
before he recollected his face. After reflecting a moment, he 
exclaimed, that he had seen his face twenty years ago in Bir- 
mingham, but it was not surely the same body. This unex- 
pected meeting of the largest and smallest man seemed to 
realize the fabled history of the inhabitants of Lilliput and 
Brobdignag, particularly when Lambert rose for the purpose of 
affording the diminutive count a full view of his prodigious 
dimensions. In the course of conversation, Lambert asked 
what quantity of cloth the count required for a coat, and how 
many he thought his would make. " Not many j" answered 
Borulawski. " I take goot large piece cloth myself — almost 
tree quarters of yard." At this rate one of Lambert's sleeves 
was abundantly sufficient for the purpose. The count felt one 
of his legs : " Ah mein Gott !" he exclaimed : " pure flesh and 
blood. I feel de warm. No deception ! I am pleased : for I 
did hear it was deception." Lambert asked if his lady was 
alive ; on which he replied : " No, she is dead, and (putting his 
finger significantly to his nose) I am not very sorry, for when I 
affronted her, she put me on the mantel-shelf for punishment." 


The many characters that introduced themselves to Lam- 
bert's observation in the metropolis furnished him with a great 
number of anecdotes, which a retentive memory enabled him 
to relate with good effect. 

One day, the room being rather crowded with company, a 
young man in the front made incessant use of one of those in- 
dispensable appendages of a modern beau, called a quizzing- 
glass. The conversation turned on the changes of the weather, 
and in what manner Mr. Lambert felt himself affected by 
them. — " What do you dislike most ?" asked the beau. — " To 
he lored with a quizzing-glass," was the reply. 

A person asking him in a very rude way the cost of one of 
his coats, he returned him no answer. The man repeated the 
question with the observation that he thought he had a right 
to demand any information, having contributed his shilling, 
which would help to pay for Mr. Lambert's coat as well as the 
rest. " Sir," rejoined Lambert, " if I knew what part of my 
next coat your shilling would pay for, I can assure you I 
would cut out the piece." 

On another occasion a lady was particularly solicitous to 
have the same question resolved. " Indeed, madam," an- 
swered Lambert, " I cannot pretend to charge my memory 
with the price, but I can put you into a method of obtaining 
the information you want. If you think proper to make me a 
present of a new coat, you will then know exactly what it 

A person, who had the appearance of a gentleman, one day 
took the liberty of asking several impertinent questions. Lam- 
bert looked him sternly in his face, but without making any 
reply. A lady now entered the room, and Lambert entered 
into conversation with her, on which the same person observed 
that he was more polite to ladies than to gentlemen. " I can 
assure you, sir," answered Lambert, " that I consider it my 
duty to treat with equal politeness all those whose behaviour 
convinces me that they are gentlemen."—" I suppose," rejoined 
the querist, " you mean to infer that I am no gentleman." — 
" That I certainly did," was the reply. Not yet abashed by 


this reproof, he soon afterwards ventured to ask another ques- 
tion, of a similar nature with the preceding. Irritated at these 
repeated violations of decency, which bespoke a deficiency of 
good sense as we'll as good manners, Lambert fixed his eyes 
full upon the stranger : " You came into this room, sir, by the 

door, but r " "You mean to say," continued the other, 

looking at the window, " that I may possibly make my exit by 
some other way." — " Begone this moment !" thundered Lam- 
bert, " or by Gr — I'll throw you into Piccadilly." No second 
injunction was necessary to rid him of this obnoxious guest. 

After a residence of about five months in the metropolis, 
Mr. Lambert returned, in September, 1806, to his native town. 

From that period to his death he was chiefly engaged 
in travelling to the principal towns, where many thousands 
beheld with admiration his astonishing bulk. He was a cheer- 
ful companion, possessed a generous heart, and was as fond of 
rural sports as any man in England. His game chickens and 
his dogs, when he was at home, were his chief amusement, and 
the Eacing Calendar his study. He died on the 21st of June, 
1809, at Stamford, in Lincolnshire, to which place he had tra- 
velled the day preceding his death, from Huntingdon ; and on 
his arrival in the evening he sent a messenger to the office of 
the Stamford News, requesting that, as " the mountain could 
not wait on Mahomet, Mahomet would go to the mountain," 
or, in other words, that the printer would call upon him, and 
receive an order for executing some hand-bills announcing Mr. 
Lambert's arrival, and his desire to see company. The orders 
he gave upon that occasion were delivered without any pre- 
sentiment that they were to be his last, and with his usual 
cheerfulness. He was in bed, fatigued with his journey, but was 
anxious that the bills might be quickly printed, in order to his 
seeing company next morning. Before nine o'clock on that morn- 
ing, however, he was a corpse. He was in his fortieth year, 
and upon being weighed a few days before his death by the 
Caledonian balance, was found to be 52 stone 1 lib. in weight 
(141b. to the stone), which is 10 stone 11 lb. more than the 
celebrated Bright of Essex ever weighed. He had apartments 


at the Waggon and Horses Inn, St. Martin's, on the ground 
floor, for he had long been incapable of walking up-stairs. Nor 
is this to be wondered at, when it is known that he measured 
three yards four inches round the body, and one yard one inch 
round the leg, and that a suit of clothes cost about twenty 

His coffin, in which there was a great difficulty to place him, 
was six feet four inches long, four feet four inches wide, and 
two feet four inches deep ; the immense substance of his legs 
made it necessarily a square case. This coffin, which consisted 
of 112 superficial feet of elm, was built on two axle-trees, and 
four cog-wheels. Upon these his remains were rolled into his 
grave, which was in the new burial ground at the back of St. 
Martin's Church. A regular descent was made by sloping it 
for some distance. It was found necessary to take down the 
window and wall of the room in which he lay to allow his 
being taken away. 

A. tomb-stone, with the following epitaph, has been erected 
in St. Martin's burying ground, Stamford. 

" In remembrance of that prodigy in nature, 

Daniel Lambert, 

a native of Leicester, 

who was possessed of an excellent and convivial mind, and 

in personal greatness had no competitor. 

He measured three feet one inch round the leg, nine feet four 

inches round the body, and weighed 52 stone, lllbs., 

(141b. to the stone.) 

He departed this life on the 21st of Jume, 1809, aged 39 years. 

As a testimony of respect, this stone was erected by bis 

friends in Leicester." 

We shall now proceed to make a few observations relative 
to the habits, manners, and propensities of this extraordinary 

It is not improbable that incessant exercise in the open air, 
in the early part of his life, laid the foundation of an uncom- 
monly healthy constitution. Lambert scarcely knew what it 
was to be ailing or indisposed. His temperance, no doubt, 
contributed towards this uninterrupted flow of health. His 


food differed in no respect from that of other people : he ate 
with moderation, and of one dish only at a time. He never 
drank any other beverage than water, and though at one period 
of his life he seldom spent an evening at home, but with convi- 
vial parties, he never could be prevailed upon to join his com- 
panions in their libations to the jolly god. He possessed' in an 
eminent degree one of the qualifications that strongly tended 
to promote harmony and conviviality, having a fine, powerful, 
and melodious voice. It was a strong tenor, unlike that of a 
fat man, light and unembarrassed, and the articulation per- 
fectly clear. 

Lambert's height was five feet eleven inches, and in June, 
1805, he had attained the enormous weight of fifty stone four 
pounds. He never felt any pain in his progress towards his 
greatest bulk, but increased gradually and imperceptibly. 
Before he grew bulky he never knew what it was to be out of 
wind. It was evident to all who were acquainted with him, 
that he had no oppression on the lungs from fat, or any other 
cause ; and Dr. Heaviside expressed his opinion that his life 
was as good as that of any other healthy man. He conceived 
himself that he could walk a quarter of a mile, and notwith- 
standinghis excessive corpulence, could not only stoop without 
trouble to write, but even kept up an extensive correspond- 
ence, insomuch that his writing-table resembled the desk of a 
merchant's counting-house. 

He slept less than the generality of mankind, being never 
more than eight hours in bed. He was never inclined to 
drowsiness, either after dinner, or in any other part of the day ; 
and such was the vivacity of his disposition, that he was 
always the last person to retire to rest, which he never did be- 
fore one o'clock. He slept without having his head raised more 
than is usual with other men, and always with the window 
open. His respiration was so perfectly free and unobstructed, 
that he never snored, and what is not a little extraordinary, 
he could awake within five minutes of any time he'pleased. 

We have already adverted to Lambert's fondness for hunting, 
coursing, racing, fishing, and cockfighting. He was likewise 


well known in his neighbourhood as a great otter hunter, and 
until within a few years of his death, was extremely active in 
all the sports of the field ; and though he was prevented by 
his corpulence from partaking in them, he still bred cocks, set- 
ters, and pointers, which he brought to as great, or perhaps 
greater perfection than any other sporting character of the 
day. At the time when terriers were the vogue, he possessed 
no less than thirty of them at once. The high estimation in 
which the animals of his breeding were held by sporting 
amateurs, was fully evinced in the sale of the dogs which he 
brought with him to London, and which were disposed of at 
Tattersall's at the following prices : Peg, a black setter bitch, 
forty-one guineas ; Punch, a setter dog, twenty-six guineas ; 
Brush, ditto, seventeen guineas ; Bob, ditto, twenty guineas ; 
Bounce, ditto, twenty-two guineas ; Sam, ditto, twenty-six 
guineas ; Bell, ditto, thirty-two guineas ; Charlotte, a pointer 
bitch, twenty-two guineas ; Lucy, ditto, twelve guineas. Total, 
218 guineas. Mr. Mellish was the purchaser of the seven set- 
ters, and Lord Kinnaird of the two pointers. 

If Lambert had a greater attachment to one kind of sport 
than another it was to racing, for which he always manifested 
a peculiar preference. He was fond of riding himself before 
his weight prevented him from enjoying that exercise ; and it 
was his opinion, founded on experience, that the more blood, 
and the better a horse was bred, the better he carried him. 

During his residence in London he found himself in nowise 
affected by the change of air, unless he ought to have attributed 
to that cause an occasional, momentary, trifling depression of 
spirits in the morning, such as he had felt on his recovery from 
inflammatory attacks, which were the only kind of indisposi- 
tion he ever remembered to have experienced. . 

The extraordinary share of health he enjoyed was not the 
result of any unusual precaution on his part, as he had in 
many instances ' accustomed himself to the total neglect of 
those means by which men in general endeavour to preserve 
that inestimable blessing. As a proof of this the following 
fact is related from his own lips : Before his increasing ske 



prevented Ms partaking in the sports of the field, he never 
could be prevailed upon, when he returned home at night from 
these excursions, to change any part of his clothes, however 
wet they might be ; and he put them on again the next morn- 
ing, though they were, perhaps, so thoroughly soaked, as to 
leave behind them their mark on the 'floor. Notwithstanding 
this, he never knew what it was to take cold. On one of these 
occasions he was engaged with a party of young men in a boat 
in drawing a pond. Knowing that a principal part, of this 
diversion always consists in sousing each other as much as pos- 
sible, Lambert, before he entered the boat, walked, in his 
clothes, up to his chin into the water. He remained the whole 
of the day in this condition, which, to any other man, must 
have proved intolerably irksome. At night, on retiring to bed, 
he stripped off his shirt and all, and the next morning, putting 
on his clothes again, wet as they were, he resumed the diver- 
sion with the rest of his companions. Nor was this all ; for, 
lying down in the bottom of the boat, he took a comfortable 
nap for a couple of hours, and though the weather was rather 
severe, he experienced no kind of inconvenience from what 
might justly be considered an extreme indiscretion. 

It would have been an interesting speculation to try how far 
a certain regimen might have tended to reduce Lambert's 
excessive bulk, which, however healthy he might be, could not 
but be productive of some inconvenience, besides depriving 
him of enjoyments to which he was passionately attached. 

Thomas Britton, 

The Musical Small Coal-Man. 

"TTHOMAS BKITTON was born at or near Higham Ferrers, 

-*- in Northamptonshire. From his native county he went 

to London, where he bound himself apprentice to a small coal- 

bkswS" -■'■■■ 

Tin gravecL"bv KPage 


man. After he had served his full time of seven years, his 
master gave him a sum of money not to set up for himself. 
On this he went back to Northamptonshire, and after he had 
spent the money, returned to London, where, notwithstanding 
his master Was still living, he set up in the small coal-trade, in 
a building which had been a stable, but which he converted into 
a house, near Clerkenwell Green. 

What particular circumstance directed Britton's attention to 
subjects totally unconnected with his business we are not in- 
formed ; but it is probable that the acquaintance which com- 
menced, soon after he was settled in the above-mentioned 
situation, between him and his near neighbour, Dr. Garanciers, 
led him to the study of chemistry. He not only became a 
proficient in that science, but even contrived a moveable labo- 
ratory, which was universally admired by all of the profession 
that happened to see it : and a gentleman from Wales was so 
much taken with it, as to carry Britton with him into that 
country to build such another. 

Besides his great skill in chemistry, Britton was not less 
celebrated for his knowledge of the theory of music, in the 
practical part of which he was also a considerable adept. What 
will appear still more extraordinary is, that notwithstanding 
the meanness of his profession, a musical concert was held at 
Britton's house, which was attended by the most distinguished 
professors, as well as by many persons of the highest rank and 

Of the origin of Britton's concert we have an account written 
by a near neighbour of his, the facetious Edward Ward, author 
of the " London Spy," and many doggerel poems, coarse, it is 
true, but not devoid of humour or pleasantry, and who at that 
time kept a public-house at Clerkenwell. In one of his publi- 
cations, entitled " Satirical Eeflections on Clubs," he has be- 
stowed a whole chapter on the small coal-man's club. From 
the account there given, we learn that "this club was first 
begun, or at least confirmed, by Sir Eoger L'Estrange, a very 
musical gentleman, and who had a tolerable perfection on the 
bass viol." Ward farther says, that " the attachment of Sir 



Roger and other ingenious gentlemen, lovers of the muses, to 
Britton, arose from the profound regard that he had in general 
to all manner of literature ; that the prudence of his deport- 
ment to his betters procured him great respect ; and that men 
of the greatest wit, as well as some of the highest quality, 
honoured his musical society with their company. Britton was, 
indeed, so much distinguished, that when passing along the 
streets in his blue linen frock, and with his sack of small coal 
on his back, he was frequently accosted with such expressions 
as these : " There goes the famous small coal-man, who is a 
lover of learning, a performer in music, and a companion for 
gentlemen." "Ward adds, and speaks of it as of his own know- 
ledge, and, indeed, the fact is indisputable, that Britton had 
made a very good collection of ancient and modern music by 
the best masters : that he had also collected a very handsome 
library, which he had publicly disposed of to very considerable 
advantage ; and that he had still in his possession many valu- 
able curiosities. He farther observes that, at the first institu- 
tion of this concert, it was performed in Britton's own house, 
but that some time afterwards he took a convenient room out 
of the next to it. What sort of a house Britton's was, and 
where it stood, shall now be related. 

It was situated on the south side of Aylesbury Street, which 
extends from Clerkenwell Green to St. John's Street, and was 
the corner-house of the passage leading by the Old Jerusalem 
Tavern under the gate-way of the Priory into St. John's 
Square. On the ground-floor was a repository for small coal ; 
over that was the concert-room, which was very long and 
narrow, and had a ceiling so low that a tall man could but just 
stand upright in it. The stairs to this room were on the out- 
side of the house, and could scarcely be ascended without 
crawling. The house itself was low and very old, and in every 
respect so mean as to be a fit habitation only for a very poor man. 
Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, this man, despicable 
as he might seem, attracted as polite an audience as ever the 
opera did, and ladies of the first rank in the kingdom, in the 
pleasure which they felt at hearing Britton's concert, forgot 


the difficulty with which they ascended the steps that led 
to it. 

The reader will probably feel some curiosity to know who 
were the persons that performed in Britton's concert. Perhaps 
when he is informed that Dr. Pepusch, and frequently the 
celebrated Handel, played the harpsichord; Mr. Bannister 
the first violin ; and that Dubourg, then a child, played his 
first solo at Britton's, standing on a joint stool, it will be un- 
necessary to repeat the names of the rest. It has been ques- 
tioned by some whether Britton had any skill in music or not, 
but it is certain he could tune a harpsichord, and very frequently 
played the viol de gamba in his own concert. 

It has been said that Britton found instruments, and the sub- 
scription to his concert was ten shillings a year, with coffee at 
a penny a dish. If so, Britton had departed from his original 
institution, for at first no coffee was drunk there, nor would he 
receive any gratuity from one of his guests ; on the contrary, 
he was offended whenever it was offered to him, as was asserted 
by one of the performers at his concert. 

The following stanza of a song written by Ward, in praise of 
Britton seems to confirm it. 

" Upon Thursdays repair 
To my palace, and there 
Hobble up stair by stair ; 
But I pray ye take care 
That you break not your shins by a stumble. 
And without e'er a souse, 
Paid to me or my spouse, 
Sit as still as a mouse, 
At the top of the house, 
And there you shall hear how we fumble." 

Britton's skill in old books and manuscripts is mentioned by 
Hearne, who in the preface to his edition of Eobert of Gloster, 
refers to a curious manuscript copy of that historian in Britton's 
possession. The account of the means used by him and other 
collectors of ancient books and manuscripts about this time, 
given by one of that class, includes some intimation of Britton's 
pursuits and connexions. 


About the beginning of the eighteenth century a passion for 
collecting old hooks and manuscripts prevailed among the 
nobility. The chief of those who sought after them were the 
Earls of Oxford, Pembroke, Sunderland, Winchelsea, and the 
Duke of Devonshire. These noblemen in the winter season, 
on Saturdays, the parliament not sitting on that day, used to 
resort to the city, and dividing themselves, took different 
routes, some to Little Britain, some to Moorfields, and others 
to different parts of the town inhabited by booksellers. There 
they would inquire in the several shops as they passed along 
for old books and manuscripts ; and some time before noon 
would assemble at the shop of Christopher Bateman, a book- 
seller at the corner of Ave Maria Lane, in Paternoster Eow, 
where they were frequently met by other persons engaged in 
the same pursuits. A conversation on the subject of their 
inquiries ensued, and while they were thus engaged, and as 
near as possible to the hour of twelve by St. Paul's clock,' 
Britton, who by that time had finished his round, arrived clad' 
in his blue frock, and pitching his sack of small coal on the 
bulk of Mr. Bateman's shop window, would go in and join 
them. After a conversation which generally lasted about an 
hour, the above-mentioned noblemen adjourned to the Mourn- 
ing Bush at Aldersgate, where they dined and spent the re- 
mainder of the day. 

The singularity of his character, the course of his studies, 
and the collections he made induced suspicions that Britton 
was not the man he appeared to be. Some thought his musical 
assembly onlya cover for seditious meetings, others for magical 
purposes, and Britton himself was taken for an atheist, a pres- 
byterian and a Jesuit. These, however, were ill-grounded con- 
jectures; for he was a plain, simple, honest man, perfectly 
inoffensive and highly esteemed by all who knew him, and 
notwithstanding the meanness of his occupation was always 
called Mr. Britton. 

The circumstances of this man's death are not less remark- 
able than those of his life. There resided in Britton's time 
near Clerkenwell Close, a man named Eobe, who frequently 


played at his concerts, and who being in the commission of the 
peace for Middlesex was usually denominated Justice Robe. 
At the same time one Honeyman, a blacksmith by trade, who 
lived in Bear Street near Leicester Square, became very famous 
for a faculty which he possessed of speaking as if his voice pro- 
ceeded from some different part of the house from where he 
stood. He was one of those who are known by the appellation 
of ventriloquists, and was himself called " the talking smith." 
The pranks played by this man would, if collected, almost fill a 
volume, but in this place the following anecdote may suffice. 
During the time that Dr. Sacheverell was under censure, and 
had a great resort of friends to his house near the church in 
Holborn, Honeyman had the assurance to get himself admitted 
under the pretext that he came from a couple who wished to be 
married by the doctor. He did not remain long in the room, 
but made such good use of his time that the doctor, though 
one of the stoutest and most athletic men of his time, was 
almost terrified into fits. 

This man Eobe was foolish and wicked enough to introduce 
to Britton for the sole purpose of frightening him, and he was 
but too successful. Honeyman, without moving his lips or 
seeming to speak, announced, as from a distance, the death of 
poor Britton within a few hours, with an intimation that the 
only way to avert his doom was for him to fall on his knees 
immediately and say the Lord's prayer. The poor man did as 
he was bid, went home, took to his bed and died in a few 
days, leaving his friend Mr. Eobe to enjoy the consequences of 
his mirth. His death happened in September, 1714, and on 
the first of October he was buried in the church-yard of Clerk- 
enwell, being attended to the grave by a great concourse of 
people, especially by those who had been used to frequent his 
concerts. At the time of his death he was upwards of sixty 
years of age. 

"He was," says Hearne, the antiquary, " an extraordinary 
and valuable man ; much admired by the gentry, even those of 
the best quality, and by all others of inferior rank, that had 
any. kind of regard for probity, sagacity, diligence, and humi- 


lity. I say humility, because, though he was so much famed 
for his knowledge, and might therefore have lived very re- 
putably without his trade, yet he continued it to his death, not 
thinking it to be at all beneath him." 

Britton was in his person a short, thick-set man, with a very 
honest, ingenuous countenance. There are two pictures of him 
extant, both painted by his friend Mr. Woolaston. One of 
them is in the British Museum, and the occasion of painting it, 
as related by the artist himself, was this : Britton had been 
out one morning, and having nearly emptied his sack in a 
shorter time than he expected, had a mind to see his friend 
Mr. Woolaston. But having always been accustomed to con- 
sider himself in two capacities, namely, as one who subsisted 
by a very mean occupation, and as a companion for persons in 
a station of life far above his own, he could not, consistently 
with this distinction, pay Woolaston a visit, dressed as he then 
was. He therefore in his way home varied his usual round, 
and passing through Warwick Lane, determined to cry small 
coal so near the artist's door as to stand a chance of being in- 
vited in by him. Accordingly, he had no sooner turned into 
Warwick Court and cried small coal in his usual tone, than 
Mr. Woolaston, who had never heard him there before, threw 
up the sash, and beckoned him in. After some conversation 
Woolaston intimated a desire to paint his picture ; Britton mo- 
destly complied, and then and at a few subsequent sittings the 
artist painted him in his blue frock and with his small coal 
measure in his hand. A print was taken from this picture, 
after which Mr. Hughes wrote the following lines that were 
inscribed underneath it : — 

Tho' mean thy rank, yet in thy humhle cell 
Did gentle peace and. arts unpurchased dwell ; 
Well pleased Apollo thither led his train, 
And music warbled in her sweetest strain. 
Cyllenius so, as fables tell, and Jove 
Came willing guests to poor Philemon's grove. 
Let useless pomp behold and blush to find 
So low a station, such a liberal mind. 

Britton was a married man, and was survived by his wife. 

m wmm 

EnerravecL ov It Oou 

( f M 

////./ >'■*//■?./ ?</ 4tf/<_ /;i<,vf /imt/z/ S da- 

y 6 dm0. m 


He left little behind him, except his books, his collection of 
manuscripts and printed music and musical; instruments, which 
were afterwards sold by auction. 

Nor did the celebrated Mathew Prior refuse to contribute to 
the memory of poor Britton in the following lines : — 

Tho' doom'd to small coal yet to arts allied ; 
Rich without wealth, and famous without pride. 
Music's best patron, judge of books and men ; 
Beloved and honour'd by Apollo's train. 
In Greece or Rome sure never did appear 
So bright a genius in so dark a sphere ! 
More of the man had probably been saved, 
Had Eneller painted, and had Vertue gravedi 

Elizabeth Woodcock, 

Who was Buried in Snow nearly Eight Days, 

PLIZABETH "WOODCOCK was the wife of a sober in- 
•*— * dustrious farmer, who supported her and four children 
by a farm of about thirty pounds a-year, at the village of 
Impington, about three miles from Cambridge. She went on 
horseback to Cambridge market on Saturday, February 2, 
1799, to sell some poultry, &c, and buy some necessaries for 
her family. On her return home in the evening, between six 
and seven o'clock, being about half a mile from her own house, 
her horse started at a sudden light, which proceeded, most 
probably, from a meteor, a phenomenon which, at this season 
of the year, not unfrequently- happens. She was herself struck 
with the light, and exclaimed, "Good God! what can this 
be ?" It was a very inclement, stormy night : a bleak wind 
blew boisterously from the north-east. The ground was covered 
by the great quantities of snow that had fallen during the day, 
yet it was not spread uniformly over the surface. The deepest, 
ditches were many of them completely filled up, whilst in the 


open fields there was but a thin covering, but in the roads and 
lanes, and many narrow and enclosed parts, it had accumulated 
to a considerable depth, nowhere as yet so as to render the 
ways impassable, but still enough to retard and impede the 
traveller. The horse, upon his starting, ran backward, and ap- 
proached to the brink of a ditch, which the poor woman recol- 
lected, and fearing lest the animal in his fright should plunge 
into it, very prudently dismounted with all expedition. Her 
intention was to walk, and lead the horse home, but he started 
again, and broke from her. She repeated her attempt to take 
hold of the bridle, but the horse, still under the impression of 
fear, turned suddenly out of the road, and directed his steps to 
the right over the common fields. She followed, in hopes of 
quickly overtaking him, but unfortunately lost one of her shoes 
in the snow. She was already wearied with the exertion she 
had made, and besides, had a heavy basket on her arm, con- 
taining several articles of domestic consumption, which she had 
brought from market. By these means her pursuit of the horse 
was greatly impeded ; she, however, persisted, and followed 
him through an opening in the hedge, a little beyond which she 
overtook him (about a quarter of a mile from the place she 
alighted), and taking hold of the bridle, made another attempt 
to lead him home. But she had not retraced her steps farther 
than a thicket, which lies contiguous to the hedge, when she 
found herself so much fatigued and exhausted, her hands and 
feet, particularly her left foot, which was without a shoe, so very 
much benumbed, that she was unable to proceed farther. Sit- 
ting down upon the ground in this state, and letting go the 
bridle, " Tinker," she said, calling the horse by his name, "I 
am too much tired to go any farther, you must go home with- 
out me';" and exclaimed, " Lord have mercy upon me !" 

The ground on which she sat was upon a level with the 
common field, close under the thicket on the south-west. She 
well knew the situation of it, and what was its distance from 
and bearing with respect to her own house. There was then 
.but a small quantity of snow drifted near her, but it was be- 
ginning to accumulate, and did actually accumulate so rapidly, 


that, when Chesterton bell rang at eight o'clock, she was com- 
pletely enclosed and hemmed in by it. The depth of the snow 
in which she was enveloped, was about six feet in a perpen- 
dicular direction ; over her head between two and three. Her 
imprisonment was now complete, for she was incapable of 
making any effectual attempt to extricate herself, and, in addi- 
tion to her fatigue and cold, her. clothes were stiffened by the- 
frost. Eesigning herself, therefore, calmly to the necessity of 
her bad situation, she sat awaiting the dawn of the following 
day. -To the best of her recollection she slept very little 
during the first night, or, indeed, any of the succeeding nights 
or days, except on Friday the 8th. Early the next morn- 
ing she distinctly heard the ringing of a. bell in one of the vil- 
lages at a small distance. Her mind was now turned to the 
thoughts of her preservation, and busied itself in concerting ex- 
pedients, by means of which any one, who chanced to come near 
the place, might discover her. On the morning of the 3rd, the 
first day after her imprisonment, observing before her a circular 
hole in the snow, about two feet in length, and half a foot in 
diameter, running obliquely upwards through the mass, she 
broke off a branch of the bush, which was close to her, and 
with it thrust her handkerchief through the hole, and hung it 
as a signal of distress 'upon one of the uppermost twigs that re- 
mained uncovered, an expedient that will be seen, in the 
sequel, to have occasioned her discovery. She bethought her- 
self, at the same time, that the change of the moon was near ; 
and having an almanac in her pocket, she took it out, though 
with great difficulty, and consulting it, found that there would 
be a new moon the next day, February the 4th. The difficulty 
which she found in getting the almanac out of her pocket arose, 
in a great measure, from the stiffness of her frozen clothes. 
The trouble, however, was compensated by the consolation 
which the prospect of so near a change in her favour afforded. 
The extremity of the hole was closed up with a thin covering 
of snow or ice, on the first morning, which easily transmitted 
light. When she put out her handkerchief she broke it; in 
consequence of which, the external air being admitted, she felt 


herself very cold. On the second morning it was again closed 
up in a similar manner, and continued so till the third day, 
after which time it remained open. 

She perfectly distinguished the alternations of day and night; 
heard the bells of her own and some of the neighbouring vil- 
lages several different times, particularly that of Chesterton;* 
was sensible of the living scene around her, frequently noticing 
the sound of carriages upon the road, the natural cries of ani- 
mals, such as the bleating of sheep and lambs, and the barking 
of dogs. One day she overheard a conversation carried on by 
two gipsies, relative to an ass which they had lost. She after- 
wards specified it was not their asses in general terms that 
they were talking about, but some particular one ; and her pre- 
cision in this respect was confirmed by the acknowledgment of 
the gipsies themselves. She recollected having pulled out her 
snuff-box and taking two pinches of snuff ; but, what is very 
strange, she felt so little gratification from it that she never re- 
peated it. A common observer would have imagined the irri- 
tation arising from the snuff would have been peculiarly grateful 
to her, and that, being deprived of all other comforts, she would 
have solaced herself with those which the box afforded till the 
contents of it were exhausted. Possibly, however, the cold she 
endured might have so far blunted her powers of sensation that 
the snuff no longer retained its stimulus. At another time, 
finding her left hand beginning to swell, in consequence of her 
reclining for a considerable time on that arm, she took two 
rings, the tokens of her nuptial vows, twice pledged, from her 
finger, and put them, together with a little money which she 
had in her pocket, into a small box, sensibly judging that, 
should she not be found alive, the rings and money, being thus 
deposited, were less likely to be overlooked by the discoverers 
of her breathless corpse. She frequently shouted out, in hopes 
that her vociferations reaching the ears of any that chanced to 
pass that way, they might be drawn to the spot where she was; 

* Chesterton bell rang every night at eight o'clook and four in the 
morning during the winter half of the year, Sundays excepted, and 
Was at the distance of near two miles from the place where she sat. 


but the snow so far prevented the transmission of her voice, 
that no one heard her. The gipsies, who passed nearer to her 
than any other person, were not sensible of any sound pro- 
ceeding from her snow-formed cavern, though she particularly 
endeavoured to attract their attention. 

When the period of her seclusion approached to a termina- 
tion, and a thaw took place on the Friday after the commence- 
ment of her misfortunes, she felt uncommonly faint and languid. 
Her clothes were wet quite through by the melted snow. The 
aperture before mentioned became considerably enlarged, and 
tempted her to make an effort to release herself, but, alas ! it 
was a vain attempt : her strength was too much impaired, her 
feet and legs were no longer obedient to her will, and her clothes 
were become very much heavier by the water which they had 
imbibed. And now, for the first time, she began to despair of 
ever being discovered or taken out alive ; and declared that, all 
things considered, she could not have survived a continuation 
of her sufferings for the space of twenty-four hours longer. It 
was now that the morning of her emancipation was arrived, her 
sufferings increased. She sat with one of her hands spread over 
her face, and fetched the deepest sighs : her breath was short 
and difficult, and symptoms of approaching dissolution became 
every hour more alarming. The cavity in which she was con- 
fined was sufficiently large to afford her space enough to move 
herself about three or four inches in any direction, but not to 
stand upright, being only about three feet and a half in height 
and two in the broadest part. 

On Sunday, the 10th of February, Joseph Muncey, a young 
farmer, in his way home from Cambridge, about half-past twelve 
o'clock, crossed over the open field, and passed very near the 
spot where the woman was. A coloured handkerchief, hanging 
upon the tops of the twigs, where it was before said she had 
suspended it, caught his eye ; he walked up to the place, and 
espied an opening in the snow ; it was the very aperture which 
led to the prisoner's apartment. He heard a sound issue from 
it, similar to that of a person breathing hard and with difficulty. 
He looked in and saw a female figure, whom he recognised to 


be the identical -woman who had been so long missing. He did 
not speak to her, but, seeing another young farmer and the shep- 
herd at a little distance, he communicated to them the discovery- 
he had made, upon which, though they scarcely gave any credit 
to his report, they went with him to the spot. The shepherd 
called out, "Are you there, Elizabeth Woodcock?" She re- 
plied, in a very faint and. feeble accent, " Dear John Stittle, I 
know your voice. For God's sake, help me out of this place !" 
Every effort was immediately made to comply with her request. 
Stittle made his way through the snow till he was able to reach 
her. She eagerly grasped his hand, and implored him not to 
leave her. — " I have been here a long time," she observed. — 
"Yes," answered the man, "ever since Saturday." — "Ay, 
Saturday week," she replied ; " I have heard the bells go two 
Sundays for church." An observation which demonstrably 
proves how well apprised she was of the duration of her con- 

Muncey and the younger Merrington, during this conversa- 
tion, were gone to the village to inform the husband, and to 
procure proper means for conveying her home. They quickly 
returned, in company with her husband, some of the neigh- 
bours, and the elder Merrington, who brought with him his 
horse and chaise-cart, blankets to wrap her in, and some refresh- 
ment, which he took it for granted she would stand in peculiar 
need of. The snow being a little more cleared away, Mr. M. went 
up to her, and, upon her entreaty, gave her a piece of biscuit 
and a small quantity of brandy, from both of which she found 
herself greatly recruited. As he took her up to put her into 
the chaise, the stocking of the left leg, adhering to the ground, 
came off. She fainted in his arms, notwithstanding he moved 
her with all the caution in his power. But nature was very 
much exhausted ; and the motion, added to the impression 
which the sight of her husband and neighbours made upon her, 
was too much for her strength and spirits. The fit, however, 
was but of short continuance, and when she recovered he laid 
her gently in the carriage, covered her over with the blankets, and 
conveyed her, without delay or interruption, to her own house. 


■ When the horse came home, her husband and another person 
set out on the road with a lantern, and went quite to Cambridge, 
where they only learnt that she left the inn at six that evening. 
They explored the road afresh that night, and for four succeed- 
ing days, and searched the huts of the gipsies, whom they sus- 
pected- might have robbed and murdered her — in vain, till she 
was unexpectedly discovered in the manner already mentioned. 
Mr. Okes, a surgeon, first saw her in the cart as she was re- 
moving home. She spoke to him with a voice tolerably strongj 
but rather hoarse ; her hands and arms were soddened, but 
not very cold, though her legs and feet were, and the latter in 
a great measure mortified. She was immediately put to bed, 
and weak broth given her occasionally. From the time of her 
being lost she had eaten only snow, and believes she had not 
slept till Friday, the 8th. The hurry of spirits, occasioned 
by too many visitors, rendered her feverish ; and her feet were 
found to be completely mortified, from being frost-bitten before 
she was covered with snow. She was so disturbed with com- 
pany that Mr. Okes had little hopes of her recovery. 

The cold had extended its violent effects from the end of the 
toes to the middle of the instep, including more than an inch 
above the heels ; and all the bottom of the feet, which were mor- 
tified, was poulticed with stale beer and oatmeal boiled together. 
Inward cold, as she called it, affected her, and she desired that 
the cataplasms might be renewed as often as possible, and made 
very warm. On the 19th and 20th she was seized with violent 
diarrhcea, which occasioned great weakness; and two days after, 
several toes were so loose as to be removed by scissors. On the 
23rd she was taken up without fainting. All the toes were re- 
moved, and the integuments from the bottom of one foot, except 
a piece at the heel, which was so long ere it loosened itself that 
the os calcis and tendo AcMllis had suffered. The sloughs on 
the other foot were thrown off more slowly, and two of the toes 
removed. All but one great toe was removed by the 27th, and 
on removing the sloughs from the heels the bone was bare in 
many places ; and wherever the mortification had taken place 
was one large sore, very tender. The sores were much dimi- 


nished, and the great toe taken off, by the end of March, and 
an unusual sleepiness came on. By April 17th the sores were 
free from slough, and daily lessened ; her appetite tolerably 
good, and her general health began to amend ; but, with all 
these circumstances in her favour, she felt herself to be very 
uncomfortable, and, in fact, her prospect was most miserable ; 
for, though her life was saved, the mutilated state in which she 
was left, without even a chance of ever being able to attend to 
the duties of her family, was almost worse than death itself; 
for, from the exposure of the os calcis, in all probability it would 
have required some months before the bottoms of her feet could 
be covered with new skin, and after all they would have been 
so tender as not to bear any pressure ; the loss, too, of all her 
toes must have made it impossible for her to move herself but 
with the assistance of crutches. 

Soon after the violence of the fever had abated, there 
appeared all over her body, arms, and face, broad reddish 
blotches, which Mr. Oakes judged to be from the same cause 
as produces chilblains. 

Her position in the snow was that of a person lying against 
a (rather steep) bank, a little on her left side, and her head 
inclined to her right shoulder. After many attempts, she got 
her right hand to her face, and pushed the snow from it, con- 
densing it in a cave-like form round her face ; she also got her 
left hand so far at liberty as to bring it to her face. She felt 
no hunger from the time she was immersed in the snow, nor 
any of the calls of nature excepting thirst, which she relieved 
about every half hour by eating the hardest morsels of snow 
she could get. She never was in darkness, but could plainly 
distinguish day from night, and the different parts of the day. 
The elbow of her right arm lying against a branch of a bush, 
it was very much bruised by her striving to get it at liberty. 

An account of her providential preservation was published 
at Cambridge in two parts. The first by the Eev. Mr. Holme, 
minister of her parish ; the second by her surgeon, Mr. Thomas 
VerneyOkes: the book was published for her benefit, and went 
through two editions. 


tiigi-ave3."bj 5 -- a & v -" 


This unfortunate woman closed a lingering existence on 
July 13, 1799, and we are sorry to add, that too frequent 
indulgence of spirituous liquors was supposed to have been the 
cause both of the accident and its fatal consequences. 

John Elwes, 

The Remarkable Miser. 

'"PHE name of John Elwes has become proverbial in the 
-*■ annals of avarice. His father, whose family name was 
Meggot, was an eminent brewer in Southwark. He died when 
his son was only four ye&i-s old ; so that little of the penurious 
character by which he was afterwards distinguished, can be 
attributed to his father. The precepts and example of his 
surviving parent doubtless exercised more influence ; for though 
she was left nearly one hundred thousand pounds by her hus- 
band, it is said that she starved herself to death. Another 
cause, which will presently be noticed, doubtless contributed to 
instil into the mind of Mr. Elwes that saving principle by 
which he was so eminently distinguished. 

At an early period of life he was sent to Westminster School, 
where he remained jten or twelve years, and became a good 
classical scholar ; yet it is not a little extraordinary, that at no 
future period of his life was he ever seen with a book, nor did 
he leave behind him, at all his different houses, two pounds' 
worth of literary furniture. Of accounts he had no knowledge 
whatever, and this may perhaps have been, in part, the cause 
of his total ignorance of his own concerns. From "Westminster 
School he removed to Geneva, to complete his education. 
Here he entered upon pursuits more agreeable to him than 
study. The riding-master of the academy there had then to 
boast, perhaps, of three of the boldest riders in Europe, Mr. 
Worsley, Mr. Elwes, and Sir Sydney Meadows. Of the three, 
Elwes was reckoned the most courageous : the young horses 



were always put into his hands, and he was the rough-rider of 
the other two. After an absence of two or three years he re- 
turned to England. 

At this time his uncle, Sir Harvey Elwes, resided at Stoke, 
in Suffolk, the most perfect picture of penury that perhaps ever 
existed. To this gentleman he was introduced, and as he was 
to be his heir, it was of course policy to endeavour to please 
him. A little disguise was now sometimes necessary even in 
Mr. Elwes, who, as he mingled with the gay world, dressed 
like other people. This, however, would not have gained him 
the favour of Sir Harvey : his hopeful nephew used, therefore, 
when he visited him, to stop at a little inn at Chelmsford, 
where he dressed in a manner more likely to ensure his uncle's 
approbation. He made his appearance at Stoke in a pair of 
small iron buckles, darned worsted stockings, an old wom-out 
coat, and tattered waistcoat, and was contemplated [with a 
miserable satisfaction by Sir Harvey, who was delighted to see 
bis heir bidding fair to rival him in the accumulation of useless 
wealth. There they would sit, with a single stick on the fire, 
and indulge occasionally with one glass of wine between them, 
while they inveighed against the extravagance of the times ; 
and when night approached they retired to bed, because they thus 
saved the expense of candle-light. The nephew, however, had 
then, what he never lost, a very keen appetite, and this, in the 
opinion of his uncle, would have been an unpardonable offence. 
He therefore first partook of a dinner with some country neigh- 
bour, and then returned to his uncle with a little diminutive 
appetite, which quite charmed the old gentleman. 

And here we shall take the liberty of digressing a little, for 
the purpose of introducing to the reader a few farther particu- 
lars of Sir Harvey Elwes, whose portrait alone is worthy of 
being a companion to that of his penurious nephew. 

Sir Harvey, on succeeding to the family estate, found him- 
self in, the nominal possession of some thousands a year, but 
actually reduced to an income of not more than one hundred. 
On his arrival at the mansion of Stoke he declared that he never 
would leave it, till he had entirely cleared the paternal estate. 


This he lived to fulfil, and to realize above one hundred thou, 
sand pounds in addition. 

But he was formed of the very material for making an 
accomplished miser. In his youth, he had been given over for 
a consumption ; so that he had no constitution and no passions. 
He was timid, shy, and diffident in the extreme, of a thin, 
spare habit of body, and without a friend in the world. 

Having no acquaintance, no books, no inclination for reading 
or Study, his whole delight consisted in hoarding up and count- 
ing his money. Next to this the highest gratification he could 
enjoy was partridge-setting. Such was his dexterity, and so 
plentiful was game at that time, that he has been known to take 
five hundred brace of birds in one season. But he lived upon par- 
tridges, with his whole household, comprehending one man and 
two maids,. With him it was toujoun perdrix, and what they could 
not eat, he turned out again, as he never gave anything away. 

During lie, partridge season, Sir Harvey and his man never 
missed a single day, when the weather was tolerable ; and his 
breed of dogs being remarkably good, he seldom failed to take 
great quantities of game. He always wore a black velvet cap 
much over his, face, a threadbare, full-dress suit of clothes, and 
an old great coat, with worsted stockings drawn up over his 
knees. He rode a lean thorough-bred horse, and the horse and 
his rider looked as if a gust of wind would have blown them 
away together. When the weather prevented him from going 
abroad, he would walk backwards and forwards in his old hall 
to save the expense of fire. If a farmer of the neighbourhood 
came in, he would strike a light in a tinder-box which he kept 
by him, and putting one single stick upon the grate, would not 
add another till the first was nearly burned out. 

As he had but little connexion with the metropolis, Sir 
Harvey was never without: three or four thousand pounds in 
his house. ♦ A set of fellows, afterwards known by the appella- 
tion of the Thaxted gang, and who were all hanged, formed a 
plan to rob him. It.was the custom of Sir Harvey to go up at 
eight o'clock into his iied-chamber, where, after taking a bason 
of water-gruel by the light of a small fire, he went to bed to 



save the unnecessary extravagance of a candle. The gang 
knowing the hour when his servant went to the stable, left 
their horses in a small grove on the Essex side of the river, 
and concealed themselves in the church porch till they saw the 
man pass by. Then they rushed from their hiding-place, and 
after some struggle, bound and gagged him ; on which they ran 
towards the house, tied the two maids together, and going up to 
Sir Harvey, presented their pistols and demanded his money. 

Never did Sir Harvey behave so well as on this occasion. 
He refused to give the robbers any answer, till they had assured 
him that his servant, who was a great favourite, was safe. He 
then delivered them the key of a drawer in which were fifty 
guineas. Knowing but too well that he had much more in the 
house, they again threatened his life, unless he discovered 
where it was deposited. He, at length, showed them the place, 
and they turned out a large drawer containing seven hundred 
and twenty guineas. This sum they packed up in two large 
baskets and carried off. On quitting Sir Harvey they told him 
they should leave one of their number behind to dispatch him 
if he stirred or made the least alarm. With great calmness 
and simplicity, he took out his watch, for which they had not 
asked him, and said : " Gentlemen, I do not want to take, any 
of you ; therefore, upon my honour, I will give you twenty 
minutes for your escape ; after that time nothing shall prevent 
me from seeing how my servant does." He was as good as his 
word ; for, at the expiration of the time, he went and released 
the man : but though some search was made by the village, the 
robbers were not discovered. 

Being apprehended some years afterward for other offences, 
and found to be the men who robbed Sir Harvey, he refused 
to appear against them. To his attorney, who pressed him to 
go to Chelmsford to identify their persons, he replied, " No, 
no ; I have lost my money, and now you want me to lose my 
time also." 

Notwithstanding Sir Harvey's dislike of society, he was a 
member of a club which occasionally met at his own village of 
Stoke, and to which belonged two baronets beside himself, Sir 


Cordwell Firebras, and Sir John Barnardiston. In spite of 
their riches, the reckoning was always a subject of investiga- 
tion. One day when they were engaged in settling this diffi- 
cult point, a wag, who was a member, ealled out to a friend 
that was passing, " For heaven's sake, step up stairs and assist 
the poor ! Here are three baronets, worth a million of money, 
quarrelling about a farthing." 

In the chastity and abstinence of his life, Sir Harvey Elwes 
was a rival to the celebrated Newton ; for he would have held 
it unpardonable to have given even his affections ; and as he 
saw no lady whatever, he was under no temptation to barter 
them matrimonially for money. 

His ordinary annual expenditure was about one hundred and 
ten pounds. His clothes cost him nothing ; for he took them 
out of an old chest, where they had lain ever since the gay 
days of his grandfather, Sir Jervaise. His household he kept 
principally on game and the fish of his own ponds ; while the 
cows which grazed before his door supplied them with milk, 
butter, and cheese, and his woods furnished all the fuel that he 

Sir Harvey was a remarkable instance of what temperance 
can effect. Though given over for a consumption at an early 
period of his life, he attained to the age of between eighty and 
ninety years. At his death, the only tear that was dropped 
upon his grave fell from the eye of his servant, who had long 
and faithfully attended him. To that servant, and to his heirs, 
he bequeathed a farm of fifty pounds per annum. 

Previous to his interment he lay in state, such as it was, at 
his seat at Stoke, on which occasion some of his tenants, with 
more humour than decency, observed, that " it was well Sir 
Harvey could not see it." 

The contemplation of such a character as that of Sir Harvey 
Elwes, affords a very mortifying picture of human infirmity. 
The contrast of so much wealth, and so much abuse of it is dis- 
gusting ; but yet it has its uses. Let those who fancy that 
: riches are capable of conferring happiness here view all their 
I inability and failure, and acknowledge that the mind alone 


makes or mars our felicity. In ari age when the comforts, if? 
not the luxuries of life, are almost regarded as inseparable from 
happiness, and as the foundation of our pleasures, it cannot fail 
to excite the greatest astonishment, that Sir Harvey Elwes, 
possessed of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, should 
live above sixty years in solitude to avoid the expense of com- 
pany; should almost deny himself fire and candle; should 1 
wear the cast-off clothes of his predecessor, and live in a house 
where the wind was entering at every broken casement, and' 
the rain descending through the roof, voluntarily imposing 
upon himself a condition little better than the pauper of an 
alms-house ! 

Sir Harvey left his name and his whole property, amomnpg 
to at least two hundred and .fifty thousand pounds,- to his 
nephew, who at the time possessed a fortune very little inferior. 
For fifteen years previous to this event, Mr. Elwes was known 
in all the fashionable circles of the metropolis. His numerous* 
acquaintance and large fortune conspired to introduce him into 
every society ; he was admitted a member of a club at Arthur's, 
and various other clubs of that period. His passion for play 
was only exceeded by his avarice, and it was not till late in 
life that he was cured of the inclination. Few men, according' 
to his own acknowledgment, had played deeper and with more* 
various success. He once played two days and a night withont' 
intermission, and the room being small, the party, one of whom 
was the Duke of Northumberland, were nearly up to the knees 
in cards. At this sitting Mr. Elwes lost some thousands. 

No one will be- disposed to deny that avarice is a base pas- 
sion. It will, therefore, be thS more difficult to conceive how' 
a mind, organised like that of Mr. Elwes, could be swayed by 
principles of such peculiar honour and delicacy as often in- 
fluenced his conduct: the theory which he professed, that it 
was impossible to ask a gentleman for money, he adhered to in 
practice, and this feeling he never violated to the last. Had 
he received all he won, he would have been richer by many 
thousands ; for many sums owing him by persons of very high 
rank were never liquidated. Nor was this the only pleasing 


trait in tie character of Mr. Elwes ; His manners were so gen- 
tlemanly, so mild, and so engaging, that rudeness could not 
ruffle them, nor strong ingratitude oblige him to cease the ob- 
servance of his usual attention. 

After sitting up a whole night at play for thousands, with 
the most fashionable and profligate men of the time, surrounded 
with splendour and profusion, he would walk out about four in 
the morning, not towards home, but to Smithfield, to meet his 
own cattle which were coming to market from Theydon Hall, . 
a mansion he possessed in Essex. There, forgetting the scenes 
he had just left, he would stand in the cold or rain squabbling 
with a carcass-butcher for a shilling. Sometimes, if the beasts 
had not yet arrived, he. would walk on in the mire to meet 
them ; and more than once he has gone on foot the whole way- 
to his farm, which was seventeen miles from London, without 
stopping, after sitting up the whole night. 

The principal residence of Mr. Elwes, at this period of his 
life, was his seat at Marcham, in Berkshire. Here he had two 
sons borne by Elizabeth Moren, his housekeeper; and these 
natural children, at his death, inherited by will the greatest 
part of his immense property. He, however, paid frequent 
visits to his uncle, Sir Harvey, and used to attend him in his 
favourite amusement of partridge-setting. He always travelled 
on horseback ; and to see him preparing for a journey was a 
matter truly curious. His first care was to put two or three 
eggs, boiled hard, into his great coat pocket, together with a 
few scraps of bread ; then mounting one of his hunters, his 
next care was to get out of London into that road where there 
were the fewest turnpikes. Stopping on these occasions, under 
any hedge where grass presented itself for his horse, and a 
little water for himself, he would sit down and refresh himself 
and his beast together. 

On the death of his uncle, Mr. Elwes went to reside at 
Stoke, in Suffolk. Bad as was the mansion-house he found 
there, he left one still worse behind him at Marcham, of which 
his nephew, the late Colonel Timms, used to relate the follow- 
ing anecdote : A few days after he went thither, a great 


quantity of rain falling in the night, he had not been long m 
bed before he found himself wet through, and perceived that 
the rain was dropping from the ceiling on the bed. He rose 
and moved the bed ; but he had not lain long before he found 
that he was just as much exposed as before. At length, after 
making the tour of the room with his bed, he retired into a 
corner where the ceiling was better secured, and there he slept 
till morning. At breakfast he told Elwes what had happened. 
" Ay, ay," said the old man, seriously, " I don't mind it myself, 
but to those who do, that's a nice corner in the rain." 

On his removal into Suffolk, Mr. Elwes first began to keep 
fox hounds, and his stable of hunters was at that time con- 
sidered the best in the kingdom This was the only instance 
of his ever sacrificing money to pleasure ; but even here every 
thing was managed in the most frugal manner. His huntsman 
led by no means an idle life : he rose at four every morning, 
and after milking the cows, prepared breakfast for his master 
and any friends he might happen to have with him ; then slip- 
ping on a green coat, he hurried into the stable, saddled the 
horses, got the hounds out of the kernel, and away they went 
into the field. After the fatigues of hunting, he refreshed him- 
self by rubbing down two or three horses as quickly as possible ; 
then running into the house, he would lay the cloth and wait 
at dinner. This business being despatched, he again hurried 
into the stable to feed the horses, and the evening was diver- 
sified with an interlude of the cows again to milk, the dogs to 
feed, and eight horses to litter down for the night. It may, 
perhaps, appear extraordinary, that this man should live in his 
place some years, though his master would often call him an 
idle dog, and say, the rascal wanted to be paid for doing nothing. 
Thus the whole fox-hunting establishment of Mr. Elwes, hunts- 
man, dogs, and horses, did not cost him three hundred pounds a 
year. In the summer, the dogs always passed their lives with 
the different tenants, where they had more meat and less work, 
and were collected together a few days before the season 

While he kept hounds, which was for a period of nearly 


fourteen years, Mr. Elwes resided almost entirely at Stoke, in 
Suffolk. He sometimes made excursions to Newmarket, but 
never engaged on the turf. A kindness which he performed 
on one of these occasions ought not to pass unnoticed. Lord 
Abingdon, who was slightty known to him, in Berkshire, had 
made a match for £7000, which, it was supposed, he would be 
obliged to forfeit, from inability to produce the sum, though 
the odds were greatly in his favour. Unasked and unsolicited 
Mr. Elwes made him an offer of the money, which he accepted, 
and won his engagement. 

On the day when this match was to take place, a clergyman 
agreed to accompany Mr. Elwes, to see the issue of it. They 
went on horseback ; and as they were to set off at seven in the 
morning, the gentleman took no refreshment, imagining that 
they were to breakfast at Newmarket. About eleven they 
reached that place, where Mr. Elwes was occupied in inquiries 
and conversation till twelve, when the match was decided in 
favour of Lord Abingdon. His companion now expected they 
should move off to the town, to take some breakfast, but Elwes 
still continued to ride about. The hour of four at length 
arrived, at which time the gentleman became so impatient that 
he mentioned something of the keen air of Newmarket Heath, 
and the comforts of a good dinner. " Very true," said old 
Elwes, " very true. So, here, do as I do,'' at the same time 
offering from his great coat pocket a piece of an old crushed 
pancake, which, he said, he had brought from his house at 
Marcham, two months before, but that it was as good as new. 
It was nine in the evening before they reached home, when the 
gentleman was so fatigued, that he could think of no refresh- 
ment but rest ; and Elwes, who in the morning had risked 
seven thousand pounds, went to bed happy in the reflection 
that he had saved three shillings. 

He had brought with him his two sons out of Berkshire to 
his seat at Stoke, and if he ever manifested a fondness for any- 
- body it was for those boys. But he would lavish no money on 
their education, often declaring that " putting things into peo- 
ple's heads was taking money out of their pockets." That he 


was not, however, overburdened with natural affection, the fol- 
lowing anecdote appears to prove. One day he had sent hia 
eldest boy up a ladder to get some grapes for the table, when, 
the ladder slipping, he fell down and hurt his side against the 
end of it. The boy took the precaution to go up to the village 
to the barber and get blooded. On his return, being asked 
where he had been and what was the matter with his arm, he 
informed his father that he had got bled. — " Bled ! bled ! " 
cried the gentleman ; - " but what did you give t " — "A shilling," 
answered the boy. — " Pshaw ! " returned the father ; " you are 
a blockhead. Never part with your blood ! " 

An inn upon the road and an apothecary's bill were equal' 
objects of Mr. Elwes's aversion. The words "give " and "pay" 
were not found in his vocabulary ; and therefore, when he once 
received a very dangerous kick from one of his horses, who fell 
in going over a leap, nothing could persuade him to have any 
assistance. He rode the chase through, with his leg cut to the 
bone ; and it was only some months afterwards, when it was 
feared an amputation would be necessary, that he consented to go 
up to London, and, hard day! part with some money for advice. 

.From the parsimonious manner in which he lived, and the 
two large fortunes of which he was possessed, riches rolled in 
upon him like a torrent ; but, as he knew scarcely anything of 
accounts, and never reduced his affairs to writing, he was obliged;. 
in the disposal of his money, to trust much to memory, and still 
more to the suggestions of others. Every person who had a 
want or a scheme with an apparently high interest, adventurer 
or honest, it signified not, was prey to him. He caught at every 
bait, and to this cause must be ascribed visions of distant pro- 
perty in America, phantoms of annuities on lives that could 
never pay, and bureaux filled with bonds of promising peers and 
senators. In this manner Mr. Elwes lost at least one hundred 
and fifty thousand pounds. 

Thus there was a reflux of some portion of that wealth which 
he was denying himself every comfort to amass. All earthly 
enjoyments he voluntarily renounced. When in London he 
would walk in the rain rather than pay a shilling for a coach; 


and would sit in wet clothes rather than have a fire to dry 
them. He would eat his provisions in the last state of putre- 
faction rather than have a fresh joint from the butcher ; and at 
one time he wore a wig above a fortnight which he picked up 
out of a rut in a lane, and which had apparently been thrown 
away by some beggar. The day on which he first appeared in 
this ornament, he had torn an old brown coat which he gene- 
rally wore, and had therefore been obliged to have recourse to 
the old chest of Sir Jervaise (his uncle's father), from which he 
selected a full-dress green velvet coat, with slash sleeves, and 
there he sat at dinner in boots, the above-mentioned green 
velvet, his own white hair appearing round his face, and the 
black stray wig at the top of all. 

Mr. Elwes had inherited from his father some property in 
houses in London, particularly about the Haymarket. To this 
he began to add by engagements for building, which he in- 
creased from year to year, to a very great extent. He was the 
founder of great part of Marylebone ; Portman Place, Portman 
Square, and many of the adjacent streets rose out of his pocket; 
and had not the fatal American war put a stop to his rage for 
building, much of the property he then possessed would have 
been laid out in bricks and mortar. He judiciously became his 
own insurer, and stood to all his losses by conflagrations. He 
soon became a philosopher upon fire, and, on a public-house 
which belonged to him being consumed, he said, with great 
composure, " Well, there is no great harm done ; the tenant 
never paid me, and I should not have got rid of him so quickly 
in any other way." 

It was the custom of Mr. Elwes, whenever he came to town, 
to occupy any of his premises that might then chance to be 
vacant. In this manner he travelled from street to street, and 
whenever any person wished to take the house in which he 
was ? the owner was instantly ready to move into any other. " A 
couple of beds, the same number of chairs, a table, and an old 
woman, comprised all his furniture, and he moved them about 
at a minute's warning. Of all these moveables, the old woman 
was the only one that gave him any trouble ; for she was 


afflicted with a lameness that made it difficult to get her about 
quite so fast as he chose, and, besides, the colds she took were 
amazing ; for sometimes she was in a small house in the Hay- 
market, at another in a great house in Portland Place ; some- 
times in a little room with a coal fire, at other times with a few 
chips which the carpenters had left, in rooms of most splendid 
but frigid dimensions, and with a little oiled paper in the win- 
dows for glass. It might with truth be said of the old woman 
that she was " here to-day and gone to-morrow ; " and the 
scene which terminated her life is not the least singular of the 
anecdotes recorded of Mr. Elwes. 

He had come to town, and, as usual, had taken up his abode 
in one of the empty houses. Colonel Timms, who wished much 
to see him, accidentally learned that his uncle was in London ; 
but how to find him was the difficulty. In vain he inquired at 
his banker's and at other places. Some days elapsed, and he at 
length learned, from a person whom he met by chance in the 
street, that Mr. Elwes had been seen going into an uninhabited 
house in Great Marlborough Street. This was some clue to the 
colonel, who immediately posted to the spot. As the best mode 
of gaining intelligence he applied to a chairman, but he iould 
obtain no information of a gentleman called Mr. Elwes. Colo- 
nel Timms then described his person, but no gentleman had 
been seen. A potboy, however, recollected that he had seen a 
poor old man opening the door of the stable, and locking it 
after him ; and from the description it agreed with the person 
of Mr. Elwes. The colonel proceeded to the house, knocked 
very loudly at the door, but could obtain no answer, though 
some of the neighbours said they had seen such a man. He 
now sent for a person to open the stable, door, which being 
done, they entered the house together. In the lower part all 
was shut and silent, but on ascending the staircase they heard 
the moans of a person seemingly in distress. They went to the 
chamber, and there on an old pallet bed they found Mr. Elwes, 
apparently in the agonies of death. For some time he seemed 
quite insensible, but, on some cordials being administered by a 
neighbouring apothecary, who was sent for, he recovered suffi- 


ciently to say that he believed he had been ill two or three 
days — " that an old woman who was in the house, for some 
reason or other, had not been near him — that she had herself 
been ill — but he supposed she had got well and gone away." — 
The poor old woman, the partner of all his journeys, was, how- 
ever, found lifeless on a rug upon the floor in one of the garrets, 
and had, to all appearance, been dead about two days.. Thus 
died the servant, and thus, had it not been for his providential 
discovery, would have perished her master, Mr. Elwes, who, 
though worth at least half a million sterling, was near expiring 
in his own house of absolute want. 

Mr. Elwes had resided thirteen years in Suffolk, when, on 
the dissolution of Parliament, a contest appeared likely to take 
place for Berkshire ; but, to preserve the peace of the county, 
he was nominated by Lord Craven. Mr. Elwes consented, 
only on the expresst stipulation that he was to be brought in 
for nothing. All he did was to dine at the ordinary at Abing- 
don, so that he actually obtained a seat in Parliament for the 
moderate sum of eighteen pence. He now left Suffolk, and 
again went to his seat at Marcham. He took his foxhounds 
with him, but finding that his time was likely to be much em- 
ployed, he resolved to part with them, and they were soon 
afterwards given away to some fanners in the neighbourhood. 
He was chosen for Berkshire in three successive Parliaments, 
and sat as a member of the House of Commons about twelve 
years. Though a new man, Mr. Elwes could not be called a 
young member, for he was at this time nearly sixty years of 
age. But he was in possession of all his activity ; and pre- 
paratory to his appearance on the boards of St. Stephen's 
chapel, he used to attend constantly during the races and other 
public meetings in all the great towns where his voters resided. 
At the different assemblies, he would dance amongst the 
youngest to the last, after riding on horseback, frequently in 
the rain, to the place of meeting. 

The honour of Parliament made no alteration in the dress of 

Mr. Elwes ; on the contrary, it seemed to have attained addi- 

"ditional meanness, and nearly to have reached that happy 


climax of poverty, which, has more than once drawn on Mm 
the compassion of those who passed him in the street. For 
the Speaker's dinners, however, he had one suit, with which 
the Speaker, in the course of the session, became very familiar. 
.The minister likewise was well acquainted with it ; and at any 
dinner of the opposition still was his apparel the same. The 
wits of the minority used to say, " That they had full as much 
reason as the minister to be satisfied with Mr. Elwes, as he 
never turned his coat." At this period of his life Mr. Elwes 
wore a wig. Much about the time when his parliamentary 
life ceased, that wig became worn out ; and then, being older 
and wiser as to expense, he wore his own hair, which, like his 
expenses, was very small. All this time the income of Mr. 
Elwes was increasing hourly, and his present expenditure wag 
next to nothing, for the little pleasures he had once engaged in 
he had now given up. He kept no house, and only one ser- 
-vant, the huntsman, and a couple of horses, and resided with 
■his nephew j his two sons he had stationed in Suffolk and 
Berkshire, to look after his respective estates ; and his dress 
certainly was no expense to him, for had not other people been 
more careful than himself, he would not have had it even 

As Mr. Elwes came into Parliament without expense, he 
performed his duty as a member would have done in the pure 
days of our constitution. What he had not bought he never 
attempted to sell ; and he went forward in that straight and 
direct path which can alone satisfy a reflecting mind. Amongst 
the smaller memorials of the parliamentary life of Mr. Elwes 
may be noted, that he did not follow the custom of members in 
general, by sitting on any particular side of the house; but sat 
as occasion presented itself, on either mdiscriminately ; and he 
voted much. in the same manner, but never rose to speak. r 

In. his attendance on his senatorial duties Mr. Elwes was ex- 
tremely punctual; he always stayed out the whole debatejandlet 
the weather be what it might, he used to walk from the House 
of Commons to the Mount Coffee House. In one of these 
pedestrian returns, a .circumstance occurred which furnished 


Jiim a whimsical opportunity of displaying his disregard of his 
person. The night was extremely dark, and hurrying along, 
he ran with such violence against the pole of a sedan-chair, that 
he cut both his legs very deeply. He, as usual, never thought 
of having any medical assistance, but Colonel Timms, at whose 
house he then was, insisted on some one being called in. At 
length he submitted, and an apothecary was sent for, who im- 
mediately began to expatiate on the ill consequences of break- 
ing the skin, the good fortune of his being sent for, and the 
peculiarly bad appearance of the wounds. " Very probable," 

.replied Mr. Elwes ; " but Mr. , I have one thing to say to 

you. In my opinion my legs are not much hurt — now you 
think they are, so I will make this agreement : I will take one 
leg and you shall take the other ; you shall do what you please 
with yours, I will do nothing to mine, and I will wager your 
bill that my leg gets well before yours." He exultingly beat 
the apothecary by a fortnight. 

Mr. Elwes, when he conceived that he had obtained a seat 
in Parliament for nothing, had not taken into account the in- 
side of the house, for he often declared that three contested 
elections could not have cost him more than he lost by loans to 
his brother representatives, which were never repaid. But this 
passion for lending was in time conquered, and an unfortunate 
proposal which was made him of vesting twenty-five thousand 
pounds in some iron works in America, gave at last a fatal blow 
to his various speculations. The plan had been so plausibly 
laid before him that he had not the least doubt of its suc- 
cess ; but he had the disappointment never more to hear of his 
iron or his gold. His parsimony was the chief cause of his 
quitting Parliament, for such was the opinion his constituents 
entertained of his integrity, that a very small expense would 
have restored him to his seat. He therefore voluntarily re- 
tired from a parliamentary life. 

He was, however, now, in the common phrase, " a fish out of 

Water." The style of Mr. Elwes's life had left him no domestic 

, scenes to which he could retire; his home was dreary and 

" poor ; his rooms received no cheerfulness from fire; and while 


the outside had all the appearance of a " house to be let," the 
interior was a desert ; but he had his penury alone to thank 
for this, and for the want of all the little comforts and conso- 
lations which should attend old age, and smooth the passage of 
declining life. 

Mr. Elwes frequently declared " that, after the experience 
he had had of public speakers and members of parliament, 
there was only one man, he thought, could now talk him out 
of his money, and that was young Pitt." 

About this time he lost his /amous servant-of-all-work. He 
died as he was following his master on a hard trotting horse 
into Berkshire, and he died empty and poor, for his yearly 
wages were not above five pounds, and he had fasted the 
whole day on which he expired. The life of this extraordi- 
nary domestic certainly verified this saying, which Mr. Elwes 
often used : " If you keep one servant your work is done ; if 
you keep two it is half done ; but if you keep three you may 
do it yourself." 

For some years Mr. Elwes had been a member of a card 
club at the Mount Coffee House ; and by a constant attend- 
ance on this meeting, he, for a time, consoled himself for the 
loss of parliament. The play was moderate, and he had an 
opportunity of meeting many of his old acquaintances in the 
House of Commons ; and he experienced a pleasure, which, 
however trivial it may appear, was not less satisfactory — that 
of enjoying fire and candle at the general expense. 

Mr. Elwes therefore passed much of his time in the Mount 
Coffee House. But fortune seemed resolved, on some occasion, 
to disappoint his hopes, and to force away that money from 
him which no power could persuade him to bestow. He still 
retained some fondness for play, and imagined he had no small 
skill at piquet. It was his ill luck, however, to meet with a 
gentleman who thought the same, and on much better grounds ; 
for after a contest of two days and a night, in which Mr. Elwes 
continued with a perseverance which avarice will inspire, he 
rose a loser of a sum which he always endeavoured to conceal, 
though there is reason to believe that it was not less than three 


thousand pounds. Some part of it was paid by a large draft 
on Messrs. Hoare, and was received very early the next morn- 
ing. This was the last folly of the kind, of which Mr. Elwes 
was ever guilty ; and it is but justice to the members of the 
club to say that they ever after endeavoured to discourage any 
wish to play with him. Thus, while by every art of human 
mortification lie was saving shillings and sixpences, he would 
kick down in one moment the heap he had raised. Though 
the benefit of this consideration was thrown away upon him, 
for his maxim, Which he frequently repeated, always was, "That 
all great fortunes were made by saving; for of that a man could 
be sure." 

Among the sums which Mr. Elwes injudiciously vested in the 
hands of others, some solitary instances of generosity are on re- 
cord. When his son was in the Guards he was in the habit of 
■ dining frequently at the officers' table. The politeness of his 
manners rendered him generally agreeable, and in time he be- 
came acquainted with every officer of the corps. Among these 
was Captain Tempest, whose good humour was almost prover- 
bial. A vacancy happening in a majority, it fell to this gentle- 
man to purchase; but, as money cannot always be raised immedi- 
ately on landed property, it was imagined that he would have 
been obliged to suffer some other officer to purchase over his 
head. Mr. Elwes, one day hearing of the circumstance, sent 
him the money the next morning, without asking any security. 
He had seen Captain Tempest, and liked his manners, and he 
never once spoke to him afterwards concerning the payment ; 
but on the death of that officer, which soon followed, the money 
was replaced. At this time he was in possession of seven hun- 
dred thousand pounds, and lived upon fifty pounds a year. 

At the close of the spring of 1785 he again wished to see 
his seat at Stoke, which he had not visited for some years ; but 
the journey was now a serious object. The famous old servant 
was dead. Out of his whole stud he had remaining only a 
couple of worn-out brood mares ; and he himself no longer 
possessed such vigour of body as to ride sixty or seventy miles 
with two boiled eggs. The mention of a post-chaise, indeed. I 



"Where was lie to get the money?" At length, to his no 
small satisfaction, he was carried into the country, as he had 
been into Parliament, free of expense, by a gentleman who was 
certainly not quite so rich as himself. When he reached Stoke 
— once the scene of more active life, and where his foxhounds 
had spread somewhat like vivacity around — he remarked, "he 
had expended a great deal of money once very foolishly, but 
that a man grew wiser by time.'' On his arrival he found 
lault with the expensive furniture of the rooms, which would 
have fallen in but for his son John, who had resided there. 
If a window was broken there was to be no repair but that of 
a little brown paper, or piecing in a bit of broken glass ; and 
to save fire he would walk about the remains of an old green- 
house, or sit with a servant in the kitchen. During the h&vegt 
he would amuse himself with going into the fields, to glean the 
corn on the grounds of his own tenants ; and they used to 
leave a little more than common to please the old gentleman^ 
who was as eager after it as any pauper in the parish. 

When the season was still farther advanced, his morning 
employment was to pick up any straw, chips, bones, or other 
things, to carry to the fire in his pocket ; and he was one day 
surprised by a neighbouring gentleman in the act of pulling 
down, with some difficulty, a crow's nest for this purpose. The 
gentleman expressed his wonder why he gave himself the 
trouble, to which he replied, " Oh, sir, it is really a shame that 
these creatures should do so. Only see what waste they make." 

As no gleam of favourite passion, or any ray of amusement, 
broke through this gloom of penury, his insatiable desire of 
saving was now become uniform and systematic. He used still 
to ride about the country on one of the brood mares ; but then 
he rode her very economically, on the soft turf adjoining\the 
road, without putting himself to the expense of shoes, as he 
observed, " The turf was so pleasant to the horse's feet .! " : And* 
when any gentleman called to pay him a visit, and the boy who 
attended in the stables was profuse enough to put a little hay 
before his horse, old Elwes would slily steal back' into the stable 
and take the hay very carefully away. That very strong appei 


tite which Mr. Elwes had in some measure restrained during the 
long sitting of Parliament, he now indulged most voraciously, 
and on everything he could find. 'To save the expense of going 
to a butcher,' he would have a whole sheep killed, and so eat 
mutton to the end of the chapter. When he occasionally had 
his fiver drawn, though sometimes horse-loads of fish wtere 
taken, he would not suffer one to be thrown in again, observing 
that if he did he should never see them more. Game iri >< the 
last state of putrefaction, and meat that walked about his plate,, 
he would continue to eat, rather than have new things killed 
before the old provisions were exhausted. "With his diet his 
dress kept pace. When any friends who might happen to visit 
him were absent, he would carefully put out his own fire, and 
walk to the house of a neighbour, making one fire serve both. 
Sometimes he would walk about in a tattered brown-coloured 
Hat, and sometimes in a red-and-white woollen cap, like a pri- 
soner confined for debt. His shoes he never would sUffer ; to be 
cleaned, lest they should be worn out the sooner. When he 
pent to bed he would put five or ten guineas into a bureau, and 
(could rise sometimes in the middle of the night to go down 
stairs and see if they were safe. There was nothing but the 
common necessaries of life which he did not deny himself, and 
it would have admitted of a doubt whether, if he had not held 
in his own hands manors and grounds which furnished him a 
subsistence, he would not have starved rather than have bought 
anything. He one day dined on the remnants of a moor-hen, 
which had been brought out of the river by a rat, and at ano- 
ther ate the undigested part of a pike which had been swallowed 
by a larger one taken in this state in a net. On the latter oc- 
casion he observed, with great satisfaction, "Ay, this is killing 
two birds with one stone." 

But still, with all this self-denial, and a penury of life to which 
the inhabitant of an alms-house is not doomed, still did he 
think he was profuse, and frequently say " He must be a little 
more careful of his, property." 

When seventy-three, he walked out a shooting with his 
friends, to see whether a pointer, one of them at that time 
\ 21—2 


valued much, was as good a dog as some lie had had in the time 
of Sir Harvey. After walking for some hours, much unfatigued, 
he determined against the dog, but with all due ceremony. One 
of the gentlemen, who was a very indifferent shot, by firing at 
random, lodged two pellets in the cheek of Mr. Elwes. The 
blood appeared, and the shot certainly gave him pain ; but when 
the gentleman came to make him his apology and profess his 
sorrow, " My dear sir," said the old man, " I give you joy on 
your improvement ; I knew you would hit something by and 


Mr. Elwes passed the spring of 1786 alone, at Stoke, and 
had it not been for some little daily scheme of avarice he would 
have passed it without one consolatory moment. His temper 
began to give way ; his thoughts were incessantly occupied with 
money, and he saw no person but what, as he imagined, was 
deceiving and defrauding him. As he would not allow himself 
any fire by day, so he retired to bed at its close to save candle, 
and even began to deny himself the luxury of sheets. In short, 
he had now nearly brought to a climax the moral of his whole 
life — the perfect vanity of wealth ! 

On removing from Stoke, he went to his farm at Theydon 
Hall, a scene of greater ruin and desolation, if possible, than 
either of his other houses in Suffolk or Berkshire. It stood 
alone on the borders of Epping Forest, and an old man and 
woman, his tenants, were the only persons with whom he 
could hold any converse. Here he fell ill, and as he refused 
all assistance, and had not even a servant, he lay, unattended, 
and almost forgotten, indulging, even in the prospect of death, 
that avarice which nothing could subdue. It was at this period 
he began to think of making his will ; as he was probably 
sensible that his sons could not be entitled by law to any of his 
property, should he die intestate. On his arrival in London, 
he put his design in execution, and devised all his real personal 
estates to his two sons, who were to share the whole of his vast 
property equally between them. 

Soon after this Mr. Elwes gave, by letter of attorney, the 
power of managing all his concerns into the hands of Mr. Ingra-. 


ham, his attorney, and his youngest son, "who had been his 
chief agent for some time. This step had become highly neces- 
sary, for he entirely forgot- all recent occurrences, and as he 
never committed anything to writing, the confusion he made 
was inexpressible. Of this the following anecdote may serve 
as an instance : he had one evening given a draft on Messrs. 
Hoare, his bankers, for twenty pounds, and having taken it 
into his head during the night, that he had overdrawn his 
account, his anxiety was unceasing. He left his bed, and 
walked about his room with that feverish irritation that always 
distinguished him, waiting with the utmost impatience for the 
morning ; when, on going to the banker, with an apology for 
the great liberty he had taken, he was assured there was no 
occasion to apologize, as he happened to have in his hands at 
that time, the small balance of fourteen thousand seven hun- 
dred pounds. 

However singular this act of forgetfulness may appear, it 
serves to mark that extreme conscientiousness which, amidst 
all his anxiety about money, did honour to his character. If 
accident placed him in debt to any person, even in the most 
trivial manner, he was never easy till it was paid, and he was 
never known on any occasion to fail in what he said. Of the 
punctuality of his word he was so scrupulously tenacious, that 
no person ever requested better security. 

Mr. Elwes passed the summer of 1788 at his house in Wel- 
beck Street, London, without any other society than that of 
two maid-servants. His chief employment used to be that of 
getting up early in the morning, to visit his houses in Mary-le- 
bone, which were repairing. As he was there generally at four 
o'clock in the morning, and of course long before the workmen, 
he used to sit down contentedly on the steps before the door, 
to scold them when they did come. . The neighbours, who 
used to see him appear so regularly every morning, and con- 
cluded from his apparel that he was one of the workmen, 
observed, that " there never was such a punctual man as the 
Old Carpenter !" 

During the whole of the morning he would continue to run 


up and down stairs to see the men were not idle for an instant, 
with the same anxiety as if his whole happiness in life had 
been centred in the finishing this house, regardless of the 
greater property he had at stake in various places, and for ever 
employed in the minutiae of affairs. 

Mr. Elwes had now attained the age of seventy-six, and 
began, for the first time, to feel some bodily infirmities from 
age. He experienced some occasional attacks of the gout ; on 
which, with his accustomed perseverance and antipathy to 
apothecaries and their bills, he would set out to walk as far, 
and as fast as he could. While engaged in this painful mode 
of cure, he frequently lost himself in the streets, the names of 
which he no longer remembered, and was as often brought 
home by some errand-boy or stranger of whom he had inquired 
his way. On these occasions, he would bow, and thank them 
with great politeness, at the door, but never indulged them 
with a sight of the interior of the house. 

Another singularity was reserved for the close of Mr. Elwes's 
life, which, considering his disposition and advanced age, was 
not less extraordinary than many already recorded. He who 
had, during his whole life, been such an enemy to giving, now 
gave away his affections. One of the maid-servants, with 
whom he had for some time been accustomed to pass his hours 
in the kitchen, had the art to induce him to fall in love with 
her, and had it not been discovered, it is doubtful whether she 
would not have prevailed upon him to marry her. From such 
an act of madness, he was however saved by good fortune,' 
and the attention of his friends. 

During the winter of 1788, the last Mr. Elwes was to 
see, his memory visibly weakened every day ; and from his 
unceasing wish to save money, he now began to apprehend he 
should die in want of it. Mr. Gibson had been appointed his 
builder in the room of Mr. Adam ; and one day, when this 
gentleman waited upon him, he said, with apparent concern, 
" Sir, pray consider in what a wretched state I am ; you see in 
what a r good house I am living, and here are five guineas, 
which is all I have at present ; and how I shall go on with 


such a sum of money, puzzles me to death — I dare say you 
thought I was rich ; now you see how it is !" 

About this 'time Mr. George Elwes, his elder son, married a 
young lady, not less distinguished for her engaging manners 
than for her beauty. She was a Miss Alt, of Northampton- 
shire, a lady of whom any father might be proud ; but pride, 
or even concern, in these matters, were not passions likely to 
affect Mr. Elwes : as a circumstance which happened a few 
years before, in a case not dissimilar, will prove. 

His son at that time had paid his addresses to a niece of 
Dr. Noel, who, of course, thought proper to wait upon old Mr. 
Elwes, to apprize him of the circumstance, and to ask his consent. 
He had not the least objection to the match. Dr. Noel was 
very happy to hear it, as a marriage between the young people 
might be productive of happiness to both. Old Mr. Elwes had 
not the least objection to anybody marrying whatever. "This 
ready acquiescence is so obliging?" said the Doctor — "But 
doubtless you feel for the mutual wishes of the parties." " I 
dare say I do," replied the old gentleman. " Then, sir," said 
Dr. Noel, "you have no objection to an immediate union? 
you see I talk freely on the subject." Old Mr. Elwes had not 
the least objection to anything. ''Now then, sir," observed 
Dr. Noel; " we have only one thing to '•■ settle ; arid you are 
so kind, there can be no difficulty about the matter ; as I shall 
behave liberally to my niece — what do you mean to give your 
son?"— "Give!" said Elwes, "sure I did not say anything 
about giving ; but, if you wish it so much, I will give my 

Ms. George Elwes, having now married and settled at his 
seat at Marcham, was naturally desirous that in the assiduities 
of his wife, his father might at length find a comfortable home. 
A journey with any expense annexed to it was, however, an 
insurmountable obstacle. This was fortunately removed,: by 
an offer from Mr. Partis, a gentleman of the law, to take him 
to Ms ancient seat in Berkshire, with his purse perfectly whole. 
Still there was another circumstance not a little distressing; 
the old gentleman had now nearly worn out his last coat, and 


could not afford to buy a new one. His son therefore, with 
pious fraud, requested Mr. Partis to buy him a coat, and make 
him a present of it. Thus formerly having had a good coat, 
then a bad one, and at last no coat at all, he was glad to accept 
one of a neighbour. 

On the arrival of the old gentleman, his son and his wife 
neglected nothing that was likely to render the country a scene 
of quiet to him. But he carried that within his bosom which 
baffled every effort of the kind. His mind, cast away on the 
vast and troubled ocean of his property, extending beyond the 
bounds of his calculation, amused itself with fetching and car- 
rying a few guineas, which in that ocean were, indeed, but a 

The first symptom of more immediate decay was his inability 
to enjoy his rest at night. He was frequently heard at mid- 
night, as if struggling with some one in his chamber, and 
crying out, " I will keep my money, I will ; nobody shall rob 
me of my property!" If anyone of the family entered the 
room, he would start from his fever of anxiety ; and, as if 
waking from a troubled dream, hurry into bed again, and seem 
unconscious of what had happened. In the muscular frame of 
Mr. Elwes there was everything that promised extreme length 
of life, and he lived to above seventy years of age, without any 
natural disorder attacking him ; but, as Lord Bacon has well 
observed, " The minds of some men are a lamp that is con- 
tinually burning •" and such was the mind of Mr. Elwes. Re- 
moved from those occasional public avocations which had once 
engaged his attention, money was now his only thought. He 
rose upon money — upon money he lay down to rest ; and as 
his capacity sunk away from him by degrees, he dwindled from 
the real cares of his property into the puerile concealment of a 
few guineas. This little store he would carefully wrap in vari- 
ous papers, and depositing them in different corners, would 
amuse himself with running from one to the other, to see 
whether they were safe. Then forgetting, perhaps, where he 
had concealed some of them, he would become as seriously 
afflicted as a man might be who had lost all his property. Nor 


was the day alone thus spent ; he would frequently rise in the 
middle of the night, and be heard walking about different parts 
of the house, looking after what he had thus hidden and forgot- 

One night, while in this walking state, he missed the sum 
which he had carried with him into Berkshire, amounting to 
five guineas and a half, and half-a-crown. He had wrapped it 
up in various folds of paper that no part of his treasure might 
be lost. The circumstances of his loss were these. His attor- 
ney, who had accompanied and still remained with him at his 
house in Berkshire, was waked one morning about two o'clock 
by the step of some one walking barefoot about his chamber 
with great caution. Somewhat alarmed at this unexpected in- 
trusion, he naturally asked, " Who is there ?" The person, 
coming up towards his bed, replied, with great civility, " Sir, 
my name is Elwes ; I have been unfortunate enough to be rob- 
bed in this house, which I believe is mine, of all the money I 
have in the world — of five guineas and a half, and half-a- 
crown." " Dear sir," replied Mr. Partis, " I hope you are mis- 
taken ; do not make yourself uneasy." " Oh ! no, no," 
rejoined the old gentleman ; " it's all true ; and really, Mr. • 
Partis, with such a sum I should like to see the end of it." 
This unfortunate sum was a few days afterwards found in a 
corner behind the window-shutter. 

When Mr. Elwes was at Marcham, two very ancient maiden 
ladies, in his neighbourhood, had, for some neglect, incurred 
the displeasure of the spiritual court, and were threatened with 
immediate " excommunication !" The whole import of the 
word they did not perfectly understand, but they had heard 
something about standing in a church, and a penance ; and 
their ideas immediately ran upon a white sheet. They con- 
cluded, if they once got into that, it was all over with them ; 
and, as the excommunication was to take place the next day, 
away they hurried to Mr. Elwes to know how they could make 
submission, and how the sentence might be prevented. No 
time was to be lost. Mr. Elwes, never wanting in a good 
action, ordered his horse to be saddled, and putting, according 


to usual custom, a couple of hard eggs in His pocket, he set out 
for London that evening, and reached it early enough the next 
morning to notify the submission of 1;he culprit damsels. 
Riding sixty miles in the night to confer a favour on two anti- 
quated virgins to whom he had no particular obligation, was 
really what not one man in five thousand would have done ; 
but where personal fatigue could serve, Mr. Elwes never wanted 

The ladies were so overjoyed — so thankful— so much trouble 
and expense ! What returns could they make ? An old Irish 
gentleman, their neighbour, who knew Mr. Elwes's mode of 
travelling, wrote these words to them by way of consolation— 
" My dears, is it expense you are talking of ?-^send him six- 
pence, and he then gains twopence by the journey.'' 

In the autumn of 1789, his memory was gone entirely, his 
senses sunk rapidly into decay, his mind became unsettled, and 
gusts of the most violent passion began to usurp the place of 
his former command of temper. For six weeks previous to his 
death he would go to rest in his clothes, as perfectly dressed as 
during the day. He was one morning found fasti asleep between 
the sheets with his shoes on his feet, his stick in his hand, and 
an old torn hat on his head. 

On this circumstance being discovered, a servant was set to 
watch, and take care that he undressed himself ; yet so desirous 
was he of continuing this custom, that he told the servant, with 
his usual providence about money, that if he would not take 
any notice of him, he would leave him something in his will. 

His singular appetite he retained till within a few days of 
his dissolution, and walked on foot twelve miles only a fort- 
night before he died. 

On the 18th of November, he manifested signs of that total 
debility which carried him to his grave in eight days. On the 
evening of the first day he was conveyed to bed, from which he 
rose no more. His appetite was gone ; he had but a faint re- 
collection of any thing about him, and the last intelligible 
words he uttered were addressed to his son, John, hoping " He 
had left him what he wished." On the morning of the 26th of 


November he expired without a sigh, leaving property to the 
amount of above £800,000. The value of that which he had 
bequeathed to his two sons was estimated at half a million, and 
the remainder, consisting of entailed estates, devolved to Mr. 
Timms, son of the late Lieutenant-colonel Timms, of the second 
troop of Horse Guards. 

One strange circumstance should not be omitted. Some 
days previous to the death of his father, Mr. John Elwes was 
returning from an estate he had just purchased in Glocester- 
shire, with a clergyman, to whom he had given the living. On 
his journey a strange presentiment came across his mind that 
he should see his father but once again. The idea was so 
strongly impressed upon his thoughts, that he set out in the 
middle of the night to reach Marcham : he did reach it, and 
was in time to be a witness of that sight which most afflicts a 
good son, on the subject of a father — he beheld him expire. 

.Jeffery Hudson, 

Dwarf to Charles I. 

THIS celebrated dwarf was born, appropriately enough, at 
Oakham, in Kutlandshire, the smallest county in Eng- 
land, and at about the age of seven or eight years, being then 
but eighteen inches high, was retained in the service of the 
Duke of Buckingham, who resided at Burleigh-on-the-Hill. 
Soon after the marriage of Charles I., the king and queen being 
entertained at Burleigh, little Jeffery was served up at table in 
a cold pie, which, when cut open, presented to the astonished 
royal visitors the diminutive Jeffery armed cap-a-pie. This pie 
was purposely constructed to hold our little hero, who, when 
the duchess made an incision in his castle of paste, shifted his 
position until sufficient room was made for his appearance. 
The queen, .expressing herself greatly pleased with his person 
and manners, the duchess presented him to her majesty, who 


afterwards kept him as her dwarf. From the age of seven till 
thirty he never grew taller, but after thirty he shot up to three 
feet nine inches, and there remained. 

Jeffery became a considerable part of the entertainment of 
the court, and Sir "William Davenant wrote a poem called 
" Jeffreidos," on a battle between him and a turkey-cock, which 
took place at Dunkirk, where a woman rescued him from the 
fury of his antagonist. In 1638 was published a very small 
and curious book, called " The New Year's Gift, presented at 
court from the Lady Parvula to the Lord Minimus (commonly 
called Little Jeffery), her majesty's servant," &c, written by 
Microphius, with a portrait of Jeffery prefixed. 

Before this period, our hero was employed in a negotiation 
of great importance. This was, to procure a midwife for the 
queen, but on his return with a lady of that profession and 
her majesty's dancing master, with many rich presents to the 
queen from her mother, Mary de Medicis, he was taken by the 
Dunkirkers ; and besides what he was bringing for the queen, 
he lost to the value of two thousand five hundred pounds that 
he had received in France, on his own account, from the 
queen's mother, and ladies of that court. This happened in 
the year 1630. 

Jeffery lost little of his consequence with the queen by this 
misfortune, but was often teased by the courtiers and domestics 
with the story of the turkey-cock, and trifles of a similar 
description ; his temper was by no means calculated to put up 
with repeated affronts, and at last being greatly provoked by 
Mr. Crofts, a young gentleman of family, a challenge ensued. 
Mr. Crofts coming to the rendezvous armed only with a squirt, 
the little creature was so enraged, that a real duel ensued ; and 
the appointment being on horseback with pistols, to put them 
more on a level, Jeffery, at the first fire, shot his antagonist 
dead. This happened in France, whither he had attended his 
mistress in the troubles. 

He was afterwards taken prisoner by a Turkish rover, and 
sold for a slave in Barbary ; but he did not remain long in cap- 
tivity, for at the beginning of the civil war he was made cap* 


Engrave cLTjtB.. Cooper. 


Dwarf tqgharLes l. 333 

tain in the royal army; and in 1644 attended the queen again 
into France, where he remained till the Eestoration. At last, 
upon suspicion of his being privy to the Popish plot, he was 
taken up in 1664, and confined in the Gate-house, Wesminster, 
where he ended his life at the age of sixty-three. 

Nice New, 

A well-known Character at Reading. 

THIS curious harmless fellow, in the early part of the nine- 
teenth century, formed one of the principal living curi- 
osities of Beading, in Berkshire, where he resided many years. 
Although not having much beauty to boast of, he yet had 
numerous followers and admirers, for the articles he vended 
rendered him an object of peculiar attraction to the rising 
generation ; his unwieldy baskets on each side being always 
stored with cakes and other delicacies for children. His cry 
also of Nice new ! Nice new ! with sometimes the alluring addi- 
tion of Here they he, two sizes bigger than last week, delivered 
in a most melancholy, sepulchral tone, gained him much 

, His dress, like his person, was singularly remarkable ; and 
his baskets were so large, that they used to engage the whole 
of the foot-path, to the annoyance of the other passengers, but 
this inconvenience the good inhabitants kindly submitted to, 
as it was known that by his industry he made a small provision 
for some female relations : indeed, in order to render them 
some comfort, this poor fellow nearly starved himself. On 
Sunday he filled the important station of organ-blower at a 
dissenting chapel. On one occasion, happening to fall asleep 
during the sermon, which he did not very well comprehend, 
and dreaming he was travelling the streets, he all at once 
broke out in his usual tone, All hot! All hot/ to the great, 
surprise of the congregation. 


John Valerius, 

Born without Arms. 

\ TALERIUS was born in the Upper Palatinate of Germany 
" in the year 1667, without arms ; and when bereaved of 
his parents and friends by death, had no other means to depend 
on for a subsistence than the exhibition of his person. He had 
practised many arts with his feet and toes, generally performed 
by the hands and fingers; and necessity had brought theiri 
into such use, that he felt but little deficiency in the lack of 
arms and hands. He travelled into several countries, and 
.among others, visited England, and at London exhibited him- 
self and performed all his wonderful feats from the year 1698 
until 1705, as may be seen by the various specimens of his 
writing, dated in the intermediate periods. 

The portrait of this man, and his different postures and per- 
formances, was engraved and published by himself in Holland, 
with Dutch inscriptions, and must have been productive of 
great advantages to Valerius, from the immense number of im- 
pressions taken from the plates, which appear, from some of 
the copies extant (though in any state rarely to be met with), 
to have been very much worn. 

It was a common custom with the persons who visited Vale- 
rius to give him some gratuity for a specimen of his writing; 
and on the back of a portrait of him which belonged to Sir 
William Musgrave, were four lines written by Valerius with 
his toes. 

Mr. Bindley, for upwards of forty years a commissioner of the 
Stamp Office, was one of the greatest collectors of portraits of 
his time ; and, among other rare articles, possessed Valerius's 
book complete, with lines round the portrait written by him- 
self, in the same manner as that of Sir William Musgrave. l 

Valerius wrote but very indifferently compared with Mat- 



thew Buchinger, whose performances in writing and drawing 
were truly astonishing.* 

In the place of an arm, where the shoulder usually, projects, 
in the body of Valerius appears the figure of a perfect thumb ; 
and his chest, unlike most others of his sex and nature, exhibits 
the appearance of the breast of a female. His face is, likewise, 
remarkably feminine. 

The very rare book of Valerius's postures contains sixteen 
prints : the first of which is his portrait, dated London, March 
,20, 1698. The second plate represents Valerius beating a 
drum, with an inscription in Dutch, implying that whoever 
sees him perform this feat will be struck with astonishment and 

Plate III. 
Playing at Cards and Dice. 
" In the act of managing the cards and dice, he does not 
yield in dexterity to those who play with their hands." 

Plate IV. 

Shaving himself. 
" No man who has the use of his hands would ever think of 
the expedient of doing this office with his toes." 

Plate V. 

Standing erect on his left leg, holding a rajpier between his great 
and second toe. 

"In the science and art of defence, he manages his weapon 
with as much skill, adroitness, and strength as his adversary." 

Plate VI. 
Standing on his left leg, balancing a chair with his right. 
" The ease and power with which he elevates and supports 
the chair in the position he places it, is beyond what many 
could do with the use of their arms and hands." 

* Vide antea p. 79. 


Plate VII. 
Balancing himself on a pedestal, and taking up dice with his 

" By the support of one foot, with the toes of the other, he 
takes up various dice, and by the assistance of his teeth he 
builds a little square tower three stories in height." 

Plate VIII. 

Lying at full length, with his head on the ground, and recovering 
himself by the support of his left leg. 

" The flexibility of his joints enabled him to place himself in 
most extraordinary positions, and his strength was sufficient to 
recover any posture at pleasure." 

Plate IX. 

Lying on his bach, taking up a glass of liquor, and conveying it with 
his toes to his head. 

" In addition to his powers in balancing his body, it was 
truly wonderful to witness the ease and dexterity with which 
he took a glass, filled to the brim with wine, and conducted it 
with his toes to the top of his head, balancing the same with- 
out spilling a drop." 

Plate X. 
Balancing a glass of liquor on his forehead. 
" This feat he performed in a way similar to the former, with 
the exception of his lying extended at full length on a table, 
depending for support by the left leg." 

Plate XI. 

Standing on a stool, taking a glass of liquor from the ground with 

his mouth. 

" Elevated near two feet from the floor, on a stool, with the 

greatest ease he bends his body and catches the glass between 

his teeth, drinks the liquor, and turns the glass up-side-down." 


Plate XII. 
Seated on a stool, with both feet he conducts a glass of Uqiior to the 
top of his head. 
" The amazing pliability of his joints rendered it a matter of 
the greatest ease to Valerius to do all the offices of the hands 
with his feet, and he could move them in every direction with 
the utmost facility." 

Plate XIII. 
Seated on a stool and writing with his toes. 
" However niggardly nature had been in bounty to Valerius, 
she made an ample compensation in endowing him with most 
extraordinary powers and command with his feet, which he 
could, with the greatest agility, turn to all the purposes of the 

Plate XIV. 

Seated on a stool, he takes a pistol and discharges it with his right 

" Long habit had brought the soles of this man's feet into 
the same use as the palm of the hand ; he could expand or 
contract them at pleasure ; and, if he could not handle, he 
could foot a pistol with anyone." 

Plate XV. 

Seated on a low stool, he takes up a musket, and assisted by both 
feet discharges it. 

" The weight and length of a musket must have made this 
one of Valerius's most difficult performances : yet, from the 
apparent ease with which he managed it, it seemed to the 
spectators to be equally of the same familiar use with the rest." 

Plate XVI. 

Standing on the left leg, taking up his hat from the ground with his 
right foot. 
" It was Valerius's general mode when his visitors took leave 



of him, to take up his hat ; which, after placing on his head, 
he took off in a most graceful manner, and bowed thanks for 
the honour their visit conferred on him." 

TN the early years of the present century a Miss Biffin, who 
■*■ laboured under the same misfortune as Valerius, was to be 
seen annually at Bartholomew and other fairs around the metro- 
polis. She worked with her toes neatly at her needle, and was 
very ingenious in designing and cutting out patterns in paper. 

Miss Biffin was a person really capable of showing talent as 
a miniature painter, without hands or arms. She was found in 
Bartholomew Fair and assisted by the Earl of Morton, who sat 
for his likeness to her, always taking the unfinished picture 
away with him when he left, that he might prove it to be all 
the work of her own shoulder. When it was done he laid it 
before George III., in the year 1808 ; obtained the king's 
favour for Miss Biffin, and caused her to receive, at his own 
expense, further instruction in her art from Mr. Craig. For, 
the last twenty years of his life he maintained a correspondence 
with her, and after having enjoyed favour from two of the 
Georges, she received from William IV. a small pension, with 
which, at the Earl's request, she retired from a life among 
caravans. But fourteen years later, having been married in the 
interval, she found it necessary to resume, as Mrs, Wright, her 
business as a skilful miniature painter in one or two of our chief 
provincial towns. 

There was also a Biffin of the nursery — a certain Master 
Vine, whose peculiar merit it was to draw landscapes in pencil 
with the shrunken misformed stump that represented hand and 

A still more extraordinary person than either Valerius or 
Miss Biffin, was William Kingston, who was born without 
arms or hands, and resided at Ditcheat, near Bristol, an account 
of whom is extracted from a letter sent to John Wesley, by a 
person named Walton, dated Bristol, October 14, 1788. 

" I went with a friend to visit this man, who highly enter- 
tained us at breakfast, by putting his half-naked foot upon the 


table as he sat, and carrying his tea and toast between his 
great and second toe to his mouth, with as much facility as if 
his foftt had been a hand and his toe fingers. I put half a 
sheet of paper upon the floor, with a pen and ink-horn : he 
threw off his shoes as he sat, took the ink-horn in the toes of 
his left foot, and held the pen in those of his right. He then 
wrote three hues, as well as most ordinary writers, and as 

" He writes out all his own bills and other accounts. He then 
shewed how he shaves himself with a razor in his toes, and 
how he combs his own hair. He can dress and undress him- 
self, except buttoning his clothes. He feeds himself, and can 
bring both his meat and his broth to his mouth by holding the 
fork or spoon in his toes. He cleans his own shoes ; can clean 
the knives, light the fire, and do almost every other domestic 
business as well as any other man. He can make his hen- 
coops. He is a farmer by occupation ; he can milk his own 
cows with his toes, and cut his own hay, bind it up in bundles, 
and carry it about the field for his cattle. Last winter he had 
eight heifers constantly to fodder. The last summer he made 
all his own hay ricks. He can do all the business of the hay- 
field (except mowing), as fast and as well, with only his feet, 
as others can with rakes and forks. He goes to the field and 
catches his horse ; he saddles and bridles him with his feet and 
toes. If he has a sheep among his flock that ails, he can sepa- 
rate it from the rest, drive it into a corner, and catch it when 
nobody else can. He then examines it, and applies a remedy 
to it. He is so strong in his teeth that he can lift ten pecks of 
beans with them. He can throw a great sledge-hammer as far 
with his feet as other men can with their hands. In a word, 
he can nearly do as much without, as others can with their 



Elizabeth Brownrigg, 

Executed for cruelty and murder. 

"P LIZABETH BEOWNEIGG was the wife of James Brown- 
*~ ' rigg, a house painter. After her marriage she resided at 
Greenwich, where her husband carried on his business for five 
years ; from hence they came to London, and took a house in 
Fleur-de-Luce Court, Fleet Street. She was the mother of six- 
teen children, three of whom survived her. In order to assist 
her husband, in maintaining so numerous a family, she under- 
took the business of midwife, and was so well versed in the 
practice of her office, that she executed it to the general appro- 
bation of the patients that came under her hands ; and at 
length became so well known for her skill and tenderness that 
the officers of the parish of St. Dunstan's in the West were 
induced to appoint her midwife to their workhouse, wherein 
she acquitted herself with judgment and humanity; and her 
business here lying among the poorest sort of objects, destitute 
of every necessary but what such a miserable place afforded, 
she was even said to have relieved them by her charitable 

But Mrs. Brownrigg, besides her general practice abroad, had 
fitted up conveniences in her own house for the accommodation 
of pregnant women who wanted to lie-in privately. 

"While she was thus carrying on the business of a midwife, 
she bethought herself of another way of getting money, which 
was by taking girls as apprentices from the parish workhouse, it 
being the usual custom in the parish of St. Dunstan to give £5 
with every girl so apprenticed. One of these unfortunate 
creatures she took from the workhouse of that parish, namely, 
Mary Mitchell ; also Mary Jones, from the Foundling Hospital ; 
and Mary Clifford from the Precinct of Whitefriars. 

It appears that Mary Jones was the first poor girl upon 
whom she inflicted her cruelties. Brownrigg, the husband, was 
summoned, at the instigation of the governors of the Foundling 


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Hospital, before the Chamberlain of the City of London, where 
the matter was finally adjusted. The manner in which she 
exercised her hellish tortures on this poor girl is extraordinary 
and horrible. 

Her mistress used to lay two chairs on the floor, in such a 
form that one supported the other ; then she and her husband 
fastened the girl upon the back of those chairs, sometimes 
naked ; but if she had her clothes on, her mistress pulled them 
over head, and whipped her till she had tired herself. 

Sometimes, when the girl had been washing any of the 
rooms or stairs, her mistress has taken occasion to find fault 
with her work, and by way of punishment has snatched her up 
in her arms, and soused her over head and ears in a pail of 
dirty water that was standing by, repeating it several times ; 
and often threatened to drown her in a tub of water, which she 
once ordered Mary Mitchell to fill for that purpose. By which 
cruel usage the girl received several contusions in many parts 
of her body, particularly in her neck and shoulders, from the 
edge and bale of the pail. 

And, indeed, so great were the sufferings of this poor girl, 
and still under apprehensions of yet worse to come, that she 
resolved, on the first opportunity, to release herself from this 
terrible situation ; which she effected in the following manner : 

Her bed, it seems, was in a hole under a dresser, in the same 
room where Brownrigg and his wife lay, and facing the feet of 
their bed. Here, as one Sunday morning she lay ruminating 
on, and lamenting her miserable condition, smarting with the 
bruises she had already received, and dreading what she was 
yet likely to suffer, she espied the key of the outer door hang- 
ing on a nail against a post, then turning her eyes towards her 
master's bed, and perceiving they were both fast asleep, she 
immediately shuffled on her clothes, crept softly to the door, 
unlocked it, and bade adieu to that inhospitable mansion. 

Mary Clifford, the third apprentice, and the chief object of 
her mistress's infernal rage, was the daughter of John Clifford, 
a shoemaker in "Whitefriars. Her aunt, who had been in the 
country some time, coming to London, called at Brownrigg's, 


but was refused admittance by the husband, who even threa- 
tened to carry her before the Lord Mayor if she came there to 
make further disturbances. The aunt was therefore going 
away, when Mrs. Deacon, a baker's wife, at the adjoining 
house, called her in, and informed her that she and her family 
had often heard moanings and groans issue from Brownrigg's 
house, and that she suspected the apprentices were treated 
with unwarrantable severity. She likewise promised to exert 
herself to ascertain the truth. 

At this juncture Mr. Brownrigg, going to Hampstead on 
business, bought a hog, which he sent home. The hog was put 
into a covered yard, having a sky-light, which it was thought 
necessary to remove, in order to give air to the animal. As 
soon as it was known that the sky-light was removed, Mrs. 
Deacon ordered her servant to watch, in order, if possible, 
to discover the girls. Deacon's servant-maid, looking from a 
window, saw one of the girls stooping down, on which she 
called her mistress, and she desired the attendance of some of 
the neighbours, who, having been witnesses of the shocking 
scene, some men got upon the leads, and dropped bits of dirt, 
in order to induce the girl to speak to them ; but she seemed 
wholly incapable. Hereupon Mrs. Deacon sent to the girl's 
mother-in-law, who immediately called on Mr. Grundy, one of 
the overseers of St. Dunstan's, and represented the case. Mr. 
Grundy and the rest of the overseers, with the women, went 
and demanded a sight of Mary Clifford ; but Brownrigg, who 
had nick-named her Nan, told them that he knew no such per- 
son ; but if they wanted to see Mary (meaning Mary Mitchell), 
they might ; and accordingly produced her. Upon this, Mr. 
Deacon's servant declared that Mary Mitchell was not the girl 
they wanted. Mr. Grundy now sent for a constable to search 
the. house, but no discovery was then made, on which Mr. Brown- 
rigg threatened them with a prosecution. But Mr. Grundy, 
with the spirit that became the officer of a parish, took Mary 
Mitchell with him to the workhouse, where,, on the taking off 
her leathern bodice, it stuck so fast to her wounds that she 
shrieked with the pain ; but, on being treated with great huma- 


nity, and told that she should not be sent back to Brownrigg's, 
she gave an account of the horrid treatment that she and Mary 
Clifford had sustained, and confessed that she had met the latter 
on the stairs just before they came to the house. Hereupon 
Mr. Grundy and some others returned to the house, to make a 
stricter search, on which Brownrigg sent for a lawyer, in order 
to intimidate them, and even threatened a prosecution unless 
they immediately quitted the premises. Unterrified by these 
threats, Mr. Grundy sent for a coach to carry Brownrigg to the 
Compter, on which the latter promised to produce the girl in 
about half an hour, if the coach was discharged. This being 
consented to, the girl was produced from a cupboard, under a 
bufet in the dining-room, after a pair of shoes, which young 
Brownrigg had in his hand during the proposal, had been put 
upon her. It is not in language to describe the miserable appear- 
ance this poor girl made : almost her whole body was ulcerated. 
Being taken to the workhouse, an apothecary was sent for, who 
pronounced her to be in danger. Brownrigg was therefore con- 
veyed to Wood Street Compter ; but his wife and son made 
their escape, taking with them a gold watch and some money. 
Mr. Brownrigg was now carried before Alderman Crosby, who 
fully committed him, and ordered the girls to be taken to St. 
Bartholomew's Hospital, where Mary Clifford died within a few 
days : and the coroner's inquest being summoned, found a ver- 
dict of wilful murder against James and Elizabeth Brownrigg, 
and John their son. 

In the meantime Mrs. Brownrigg and her son moved from 
place to place in London, bought clothes in Bag Fair, to dis- 
guise themselves, and then went to Wandsworth, where they 
took lodgings in the house of Mr. Dunbar, who kept a chandler's 
shop. Dunbar, happening to read a newspaper on the 15th of 
August, saw an advertisement so clearly describing his lodgers, 
that he had no doubt but they were the murderers. He there- 
fore went to London the next day, which was Sunday, and 
going to church, sent for Mr. Owen, the churchwarden, to at- 
tend him in the vestry, and gave him such a description of the 
parties that Mr. Owen desired Mr. Deacon, and Mr. Wingrave, 


a constable, to go to Wandsworth and make the necessary in- 

On their arrival at Dunbar's house they found $he wretched 
mother and son in a room by themselves, who evinced ' great 
agitation at this discovery. A coach being procured, they were 
conveyed to London, without any person in Wandsworth having 
knowledge of the affair, except Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar. 

On Saturday, September 2, 1767, Brownrigg, his wife, and 
their son, were tried at the Old Bailey for the murder of Mary 
Clifford. The chief witness was Mary Mitchell, the apprentice, 
whose evidence developed the most unheard-of cruelties prac- 
tised by Mrs. Brownrigg ; and, they being without parallel in 
the annals of crime, we subjoin them. She deposed that Mary 
Clifford had been apprenticed there a year and a half, and was 
a month upon liking. During that time she was used well, lay 
on a good bed, and ate and drank as the family did ; but about 
a week after she was bound her ill-treatment began, and for any 
trifling offence her mistress beat her over the head and shoul- 
ders with a walking cane and a hearth brush. After she was 
bound she was made to he on the parlour boards, or in the 
passage, and often in the cellar : and the reason alleged by 
her mistress for using her thus was her wetting the bed. 
Sometimes she lay in her own clothes, or else had a bit of a 
blanket to cover her. At other times they were both locked 
up in a coal-hole under the cellar stairs. There she had a 
sack stuffed with straw to he upon, with a bit of blanket to 
cover her, but sometimes she was quite naked. The reason 
why her mistress confined her in that dark hole was because, 
being very hungry, the girl got up one night, and broke open 
the cupboard where the victuals used to be put, but found 
none. Her mistress having discovered this, made her strip her- 
self to wash, where she stood all that day naked, her mistress 
whipping her at intervals all the time. Mary Clifford was then 
very near fifteen years of age. The instrument her mistress 
made use of in beating her was the stump of a riding whip. 
After that day her mistress obliged her to he under the cellar 
stairs, the coals being taken out to make room for her. Some- 


times they were both locked in together— that is, from Satur- 
day night till Sunday night, when their master and mistress 
went into the country, during which time thay had nothing to 
eat but a piece of bread, and nothing to drink ; and were let 
out of this dismal prison on Sunday night by the apprentice 
boy. At such times they were generally locked up by John the 
son, but never by their master, except once". All the bed they 
had to he upon was sometimes some old rags they got out 
of the garret, and sometimes they had only a boy's waistcoat to 
cover them, it being their mistress's order that they should 
not he in their clothes. About a year and a half ago, John the 
son beat Mary Clifford with a leather strap, as hard as he could 
strike, for not turning up the parlour bed, though it was beyond 
her strength to do it. The wounds in her head and shoulders, 
which she had but a little before received from her mistress, 
and but just scabbed over, were now made to bleed afresh 
The blood dropped on the ground so as to make a small puddle. 
Once her master beat her with a hearth brush, though never 
but once. 

The manner in which her mistress used to beat her was, to tie 
her up by the hands to a water-pipe in the kitchen, and then to 
lash her naked body with a horsewhip, and she seldom left off till 
she had fetched blood. About three months before her master, 
by her mistress's desire, fastened a hook into the beam in the 
kitchen. The use that was made of this hook, was to tie Mary 
Clifford and herself up to be beat. "When Mary Clifford was tied 
up, she was always beat till she bled. Some time before the hook 
was put up, her mistress had been beating the girl a consider- 
able time with a horsewhip, and she was fastened to the water- 
pipe naked ; just as she had unloosed her, John coming down, 
she bid him take the whip and beat her, which he did, and 
gave her several severe strokes. Another punishment inflicted 
by her merciless mistress on Mary Clifford was, by putting a 
jack chain round her neck, and fastening the other end of it to 
the yard door. It was drawn very tight round her neck, as 
hard as it could be without choking her. The fault she was 


thus punished for was, that, being thirsty in the night, she broke 
down some boards to get a little water. She was chained to 
the door all day, but loosed at night, and then sent into a cel- 
lar, with her hands tied behind her, the chain being still on her 
neck, and locked under the cellar stairs all night. Her mis- 
tress having been abroad for some days, came home on Friday, 
the 31st of July. 'Mary Clifford was then pretty well in health, 
and her wounds were scabbed over, but very sore about her 
head and shoulders. About ten o'clock that morning her mis- 
tress went down into the kitchen and tied the girl up to the 
hook, pretending she had done no work whilst she was abroad • 
then she horsewhipped her all over her body, so that drops of 
blood trickled down to the ground. Having let her down, and 
put her to the washing-tub, she lashed her again, and with the 
butt-end of the whip struck her two or three times on the head 
as she was stooping over the tub, bidding her work faster. 
Five times she was tied up that day, and whipped by her mis- 
tress, neither had she any clothes on the whole day, which she 
was charged not to put on. After the last severe whipping on 
Friday, her head and shoulders were quite raw, and her whole 
body all over gashed with wounds in a frightful manner ; her 
head, neck, and throat were prodigiously swelled, insomuch 
that her chin, cheeks, and all, were quite even. Her mistress 
then began to think she had gone a little too far, and to 
assuage the swelling, laid a poultice of bread and milk to her 
throat. If anything could add to the barbarity of this woman 
is was, that she would not suffer them to cry out, however 
cruelly tortured ; for if they did, she never left whipping them 
till they held their tongue. By the evidence it likewise ap- 
peared, that Mary Clifford had a fall down stairs with a saucepan 
in her hand, the handle of which hurt one side of her face very 
much ; which, her mistress said, had occasioned her swelled 
neck and face. The surgeon, under whose care she was at the 
hospital, being asked what he thought was the cause of the 
swelling in her neck, and whether if a jack chain had been 
fastened about it, it might not occasion such a swelling, 


answered, it might, and there was on her neck a sort of ring, 
as if something had been tied about it, which could not be 
caused by the saucepan. 

This was the substance of the evidence on this memorable 
occasion. Mrs. Brownrigg, in her defence, partly owned the 
charge against her ; but said, that in beating the girl, she had 
no design against her life. 

The learned judge summed up the evidence, and the jury, 
after a short consultation, delivered a verdict of wilful murder 
against Elizabeth Brownrigg, whereupon she immediately re- 
ceived sentence to be executed on the Monday following. The 
trial lasted from eight in the morning till six in the evening, 
and the verdict seemed to give general satisfaction, which 
was expressed by the multitude in the yard, outside of the 
Sessions House, in a manner ill adapted to the awfulness of 
the event. 

Our object in giving an account of this wretched woman is 
to show the human character in all its wonderful varieties. It 
is, however, a pleasing reflection to know that another mon- 
ster of so inhuman a disposition is scarcely to be found in the 
annals of the whole universe. 


John Smith, 

Better known by the name of Buckhorse. 

JOHN SMITH, better known by the appellation of Buck- 
horse, was one of the singularities of nature. He first 
saw the light in the house of a sinner, in that part of London 
known by the name of Lewkner's Lane, a place notorious in 
the extreme for the eccentricity of characters it contained, 
where the disciples of Bampfylde Moore Carew were to be 
found in crowds, and where beggars of all descriptions resorted 
to regale themselves upon the good things of this life, laughing 
at the credulity of the public in being so easily duped by their 
impositions; groups of the frail sisterhood adorned its pur- 
lieus, whose nudicity of appearance and glibbiosity of mother- 
tongue formed a prominent feature in this conglomeration of 
the vicious and depraved, by their coarse amours and bare- 
faced pilfering ; the juvenile thief was soon taught to become 
an adept in the profession, by taking out a handkerchief "or a 
snuff-box from the pocket of a coat covered with bells, without 
ringing any of them, and the finished thief roosted here from 
the prying eye of society, and laid plans for his future depre- 
dations in the arms of his unsophisticated charmer; those 
timber-merchants who reduced their logs of wood to matches to 
light the public, might be observed issuing out in numbers 
from this receptacle of brimstone. Costermongers, in droves, 
were seen mounting their neddies, decorated with hampers, 
scorning the refined use of saddles and bridles ;' and LewJcmfs 
Lane was not only celebrated amongst all its other attractions, 
in being the residence of a finisher of the law (Tom Dennis) 
slangly denominated Jack Ketch, but acquired considerable 
notoriety by giving birth to the ugliness of a Buckhorse, and 
beauty to a celebrated female, who, possessing those irresistible 
charms that levelled all distinctions of rank before its superior 
power, transplanted her from the rude and dirty company of 

r.uyi oveJTjyB Cooper. 


the dust-hill to the downy couch of royalty, and who was for 
many years the enviable and elevated rib of a celebrated four- 
in-hand baronet of the old school of whips, whose feats in 
driving and sporting high-bred cattle, were considered the very 
acme of style, and acknowledged one of the most knowing lads 
upon the turf, when he led this fair piece of the creation to the 
Hymeneal altar, who for a long period continued & fixed star in 
the hemisphere of fashion. 

It appears, then, that few places could boast of more origi- 
nality of character than that from which Buckhorse sprang; 
and from the variety of talent here displayed, there is little 
doubt he did not long remain a novice. As we have never 
been troubled with any account to what good-natured personage 
he owed his origin, we cannot determine, but suffice to observe, 
that little Buckhorse and his mother were turned out upon the 
wide world long before he knew its slippery qualities, by the 
cruel publican, their landlord, which inhuman circumstance 
took place about the year 1736. 

This freak of nature, it should seem, was indebted to his 
mother for what little instruction he received, the principal of 
which was an extraordinary volubility of speech, and from his 
early acquaintance with the streets he picked up the rest of his 

Buckhorse's composition, however rude and unsightly, was 
not without harmony; and although his fist might not appear 
musical to his' antagonist by its potent touch, yet when applied 
to his own chin was capable of producing a variety of popular 
tunes, to the astonishment of all those who heard and saw him, 
by which peculiar trait he mostly subsisted. It was a common 
custom with him to allow any person to beat a tune on his 
chin for a penny, which was a source of much profit, and 
added to that of selling switches for a half-penny a-piece, was 
his only means of subsistence for many years. His cry of 
" here is pretty switches to beat your wives," was so singular, 
that Shuter, the celebrated comedian, among his other imita- 
tions, was more than successful in his attempts of Buckhorse, 
, which were repeatedly called for a second time. 


As a pugilist, Buckhorse ranked high for courage and strength 
among the boxers of his day, and displayed great muscular 
powers in the battles he had contested ; and like many of the 
sporting gem/men, was distinguished by his numerous amours 
with the gay nymphs of the town, more by the potency of his 
arm than the persuasive powers of rhetoric, notwithstanding 
his rapid improvements of the tongue. 

Buckhorse was the person whom the late Duke of Queens- 
bury selected to ride for him, when he won his celebrated 
wager against -time. 

Thomas Hills Everitt, 

The Enormotts Baby. 

' I "HIS prodigious child, an extraordinary instance of the 
■*■ sudden and rapid increase of the human body, was born 
on the 7th of February, 1779. His father, a mould-paper 
maker, conducted the paper-mills by the side of Enfield Marsh, 
and was about thirty-six years of age ; the mother was forty- 
two, but neither of the parents was remarkable for either size 
or stature. Thomas was their fifth child, and the eldest of the 
three living in 1780 was twelve years old, and rather small of 
his age ; but the paternal grandfather was of a size larger than 
ordinary. They had another son of uncommon size, who died 
of the measles in January 1774, at the age of fifteen months. 

Thomas was not remarkably large when born, but began, 
when six weeks old, to grow apace, and attained a most 'extra- 
ordinary size. At the age of nine months and two weeks, his 
dimensions were taken by Mr. Sherwen, an ingenious surgeon 
residing at Enfield, and compared with those of a lusty boy 
seven years old. The result was as follows : — 

EiigTaveoTby K.. Cooper 

^m®miass ibieilils EvimiETnr, 



Dimensions of the child. Of the hoy. 
Inches. Inches. 

Girth round the wrist 6f — 4| 

Ditto above the elbow 8£ — 6£ 

Ditto of the leg near the ancle 9 J — 6| 

Ditto of the calf of the leg 12 — 9 

Ditto round the thigh 18 — 12f 

Ditto round the small of the back 24 — 22 

Ditto under the arm-pits and across 

the breast 22f — 24 

Mr. Sherwen who, in November, 1779, transmitted the 
above account to Mr. Planta, secretary of the Royal Society, 
added, that he should have been glad to have given the solid 
contents of animal substance, but was prevented by the vulgar 
prejudice entertained by the mother against weighing children. 
He could therefore only say that, when she exposed to view 
his legs, thighs, and broad back, it was impossible to be im- 
pressed with any other idea than that of seeing a young giant. 
His weight was, however, guessed at nine stone, and his height 
at this period was three feet one inch and a quarter. 

The child was soon afterwards conveyed to the house of a 
relation in Great Turnstile, Holborn, but the confined situation 
had such an effect on his health, that it was found necessary 
to carry him back to his native air. His extraordinary size 
tempted his parents to remove him again to the metropolis, 
and to exhibit him to the public. His dimensions, as stated in 
the hand-bills distributed at the place of exhibition, and under 
a picture^ of Mrs. Everitt and her son, published in January, 
1780, from which the annexed print is copied, were taken 
when he was eleven months old. His height was then three 
feet three inches; his girth round the breast two feet six 
inches ; the loins, three feet one inch ; the thigh, one foot ten 
inches ; the leg, one foot two inches ; the arm, eleven inches 
and a half; the wrist, nine inches. 

He was well proportioned all over, and subsisted entirely on 
the breast. His countenance was comely, but had rather more 
expression than is usual at his age, and was exceedingly pleas- 


ing, from his being uncommonly good-tempered. He had very 
fine hair, pure skin, free from any blemish, was extremely 
lively, and had a bright clear eye. His head was rather smaller 
in proportion than his other parts. From these circumstances 
Mr. Sherwen ventured to prognosticate that he was as likely to 
arrive at maturity, accidental diseases excepted, as any child 
he ever saw. This opinion might, undoubtedly, have been 
well founded, notwithstanding the child's death, which took 
place about the middle of 1780, before he had attained the age 
of eighteen months. 

Elias Hoyle, 

Of Sowerby, Yorkshire. 

\ \ 7"E have already given several instances of remarkable 
* * longevity, and now add to the list the venerable name 
of Elias Hoyle. 

This venerable man was a native of Sowerby, in Yorkshire, 
being, at the time the accompanying portrait was taken, 113 
years of age. His life is another convincing proof of the in- 
valuable blessings of sobriety and industry ; for, by his labour 
alone, " that offspring of want and mother of health," he main- 
tained a numeror 5 family in glorious independence : not one of 
them receiving parochial relief, although he was only a journey- 
man mechanic : he was enabled to follow his employment till 
he was 110 years old. 

-,. Ciw„ 


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Joseph Capper, 

The Enemy of Flies. 

T OSEPH CAPPER was born in Cheshire, of humble parents ; 
J his family being numerous, he came to London at an early- 
age, to shift for himself, as he used to say, and was bound ap- 
prentice to a grocer. Mr. Capper soon manifested great quick- 
ness and industry, and proved a most valuable servant to his 
master. It was one of the chief boasts of his life that he had 
gained the confidence of his employer, and had never be- 
trayed it. 

Being of an enterprising spirit, Mr. Capper commenced busi- 
ness as soon as he was out of his apprenticeship, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rosemary Lane. His old master was his only 
friend, and recommended him so strongly to the dealers in his 
line, that credit to a very large amount was given him. In 
proportion as he became successful, he embarked in various 
speculations, but in none was so fortunate as in the funds. 
He at length amassed a sum sufficient to decline all business 

Mr. Capper therefore resolved to retire from the bustle of 
life. This best suited his disposition; for although he pos- 
sessed many amiable qualities, yet he was the most tyrannical 
and overbearing man living, and never seemed so happy as 
when placed by the side of a churlish companion. For several 
days he walked about the vicinity of London searching for 
lodgings, without being able to please himself. Being one day 
much fatigued, he called at the Horns, Kennington, took a 
chop, and spent the day, and asked for a bed in his usual blunt 
manner, when he was answered in the same churlish style by 
the landlord that he could not have one. Mr. Capper was re- 
solved to stop, if he could, all his life, to plague the growling 
fellow, and refused to retire. After some altercation, however, 
he was accommodated with a bed, and never slept out of it for 
twenty-five years, During that time he made no agreement 


for lodging or eating, but wished to be considered a customer 
only for the day. For many years he talked about quitting 
this residence the next day. His manner of living was so 
methodical, that he would not drink his tea out of any other 
than a favourite cup. He was equally particular with respect 
to his knives and forks, plates, &c. In winter and summer he 
rose at the same hour, and when the mornings were dark, he 
was so accustomed to the house, that he walked about the 
apartments without the assistance of any light. At breakfast 
he arranged, in a peculiar way, the paraphernalia of the tea- 
table, but first of all he would read the newspapers. At dinner 
he also observed a general rule, and invariably drank his pint 
of wine. His supper was uniformly a gill of rum, with sugar, 
lemon-peel, and port wine, mixed together ; the latter he saved 
from the pint he had at dinner. From this economical plan he 
never deviated. His bill for a fortnight amounted regularly 
to £& 18s. He called himself the Champion of Government, 
and his greatest glory was certainly his country and Kong. 
He joined in all subscriptions which tended to the aid of 
Government. He was exceedingly choleric, and nothing raised 
his anger so soon as declaiming against the British Constitu- 
tion. In the parlour he kept his favourite chair, and there he 
would often amuse himself with satirising the customers or the 
landlord, if he could make his jokes tell better. ^It was his 
maxim never to join in general conversation, but to interrupt 
it whenever he could say anything ill-natured. Mr. Capper's 
conduct to his relations was exceedingly capricious ; he never 
would see any of them. As they were chiefly in indigent cir- 
cumstances, he had frequent applications from them to borrow 
money. "Are they industrious?" he would inquire, when 
being answered in the affirmative, he would add, " Tell them I 
have been deceived already, and never will advance a sixpence 
by way of loan, but I will give them the sum they want, and if 
ever I hear they make known the circumstance, I will cut them 
off with a shilling." 

Soon after Mr. Townsend became landlord of the Horns he 
had an opportunity of making a few good ready-money pur- 


chases, and applied to the old man for a temporary loan : — " I 
wish," said he, " to serve you, Townsend, you seem an indus- 
trious fellow ; but how is it to be done, Mr. Townsend ? I 
have sworn never to lend, I must therefore give it thee," which 
he accordingly did the following day. Mr. Townsend proved 
grateful for this mark of liberality, and never ceased to admi- 
nister to him every comfort the house would afford ; and, what 
was, perhaps, more gratifying to the old man, he indulged him 
in his eccentricities. 

Mr. Capper was elected steward of the parlour fire, and if 
any persons were daring enough tp put a poker in it without 
his permission, they stood a fair chance of feeling the weight 
of his cane. In summer time a favourite diversion of his was 
killing flies in the parlour with his cane ; but as he was sen- 
sible of the ill opinion this would produce among the by- 
standers, he would with great ingenuity introduce a story 
about the rascality of all Frenchmen, " whom," says he, " I 
hate and detest, and would knock down just the same as these 
flies." This was the signal for attack, and presently the killed 
and wounded were scattered about in all quarters of the room. 

This truly eccentric character lived to the age of seventy- 
seven, in excellent health, and it was not until the Tuesday 
morning before his decease that a visible alteration was per- 
ceived in him. Having risen at an earlier period than usual, 
he was observed to walk about the house exceedingly agitated 
and convulsed. Mr. Townsend pressed him to suffer medical as- 
sistance to be sent for, which Mr. Capper then, and at all times, 
had a great aversion to. He asked for a pen and ink, and 
evinced great anxiety to write, but could not. Mr. Townsend, 
apprehending his dissolution nigh, endeavoured, but in vain, to 
get permission to send for Mr. Capper's relations, and tried to 
obtain their address for that purpose. He refused, saying that 
he should be better. On the second day, seeing no hopes of 
recovery, Mr. Townsend called in four respectable gentlemen 
of the neighbourhood, and had seals put upon all Mr. Capper's 
property. One of the four gentlemen recollected the address 
of Mr. Capper's two nephews, of the name of Dutton, who 



were immediately sent for. They resided in the neighbour- 
hood of Rosemary Lane. 

As soon as the old gentleman's dissolution had taken place, 
his desks, trunks, and boxes were opened by the Messrs. 
Duttons and their lawyer, when they found one hundred pounds 
in Bank notes, a few guineas, a great many government secu- 
rities, and a will, which the parties present proceeded to read. 
It was curiously worded, and made on the back of a sheet of 
bankers' checks. It was dated five years back, and the bulk of 
his property, which was then upwards of £30,000, he left 
equally amongst his poor relations. The two nephews were 
nominated his executors, and were bequeathed between them 
£S000 in the three-per-cents. What had become of all the 
property which had been accumulating since the will was 
made did not appear. From Mr. Capper's declaration in his 
lifetime, there was reason to suppose he had made another 
will, as the one found did not appear to be witnessed. 

The remains of the old gentleman were deposited in Aldgate 
Church-yard, where his deceased sister was likewise laid. 

Margaret Finch, 

Queen of the Gipsies. 

1\ /[" ARGARET FINCH, Queen of the Gipsies, was born at 
^'-*- Sutton in Kent, in the year 1631, and after travelling 
over various parts of the kingdom, for nearly a century, settled 
at Norwood, whither her great age and the fame of her fortune- 
tolling talents attracted numerous visitors. 

From a constant habit of sitting on the ground with her 
chin resting on her knees, generally with a pipe in her mouth, 
and attended by her faithful dog, her sinews at length became 
so contracted, that she was unable to rise from that posture. 
Accordingly, after her death, it was found necessary to inclose 
her body in a deep square box. She died in October, 1740, at 

meh^ @ mi i^wfn ft 

/ ///../. 


the great age of 109 years. Her remains were conveyed in a 
hearse, attended by two mourning coaches, to Beckenham in 
Kent, where a sermon was preached on the occasion to a great 
concourse of people who assembled to witness the ceremony. 

The picture of Margaret Finch adorns the sign of a house of 
public entertainment at Norwood, called the Gipsy House, 
which is situated on a small green, in a valley, surrounded by 
woods. On this green, a few families of Gipsies pitched their 
tents for a great number of years in the summer season; in 
winter either procuring lodgings in the metropolis, or taking 
up their abode in bams in some of the more distant counties. 
After the inclosure of Norwood, however, they were obliged 
to remove farther away, and confine themselves to daily 
excursions to the Gipsy House, for the purpose of obtaining 
money from the credulous visitors to that place. The Rev. 
Mr. Lysons, in his "Environs of London," says, " In a cottage 
adjoining the Gipsy House, lives an old woman, grand-daughter 
of Queen Margaret, who inherits her title. She is niece to 
Queen Bridget, who was herself niece to Margaret Finch, and 
was buried at Dulwich in 1768. It does not appear that the 
gipsies pay her any particular respect, or that she differs from 
the rest of the tribe in any other point than that of being a 
householder." She, however, has long since paid the debt of 

Miss Hawtin, 

Born without Arms. 

MISS HAWTIN was a native of Coventry, born without 
arms, and remarkable for the dexterity with which her 
feet performed all the offices of hands. With her toes she 
would cut out watch-papers, with such ingenuity and despatch 
as to astonish every beholder ; and numbers of these papers 
were kept as great curiosities by many who visited her. She 


could likewise use her needle and her pen with great facility. 
These extraordinary talents she exhibited to the great gratifica- 
tion of the public, in almost every town of England, till shortly 
before her death. 

Charles Domery, 

The Remarkable Glutton. 

/~*HARLES DOMERY, a native of Benche, on the frontiers 
^ — of Poland, at the age of 21, was brought to the prison of 
Liverpool in February, 1799, having been a soldier in the 
French service on board the Hoche, captured by the squadron 
under the command of Sir J. B. Warren, off Ireland. 

He was one of nine brothers, who, with their father, were 
remarkable for the voraciousness of their appetites. They were 
all placed early in the army ; and the peculiar craving for 
food with this young man began at thirteen years of age. 

He was allowed two rations in the army, and by his earn- 
ings, or the indulgence of his comrades, procured an additional 

When in the camp, if bread or meat were scarce, he made 
up the deficiency by eating four or five pounds of grass daily ; 
and in one year devoured 174 cats (not their skins) dead or 
alive ; and says, he had several severe conflicts in the act of 
destroying them, by feeling the effect of their torments on his 
face and hands : sometimes he killed them before eating, but 
when very hungry, did not wait to perform this humane office. 

Dogs and rats equally suffered from his merciless jaws ; and 
if much pinched by famine, the entrails of animals indiscrimin- 
ately became his prey. The above facts are attested by Picard, 
a respectable man, who was his comrade in the same regiment 
on board the Hoche, and who had often seen him feed on 
those animals. 

When the ship on board of which he was, had surrendered 


after an obstinate action, finding himself, as usual, hungry, 
and nothing else in his way but a man's leg, which was shot 
off, lying before him, he attacked it greedily, and was feeding 
heartily when a sailor snatched it from him, and threw it over- 

While he was in prison, he ate one dead cat, and about 
twenty rats. But what he delighted most in was raw meat, 
beef, or mutton, of which, though plentifully supplied by eating 
the rations of ten men daily, he complained he had not the same 
quantity, nor indulged in eating so much as he used to do, 
when in France. The French prisoners of war were at this 
time maintained at the expense of their own nation, and were 
each allowed the following daily rations : — twenty-six ounces 
of bread, half a pound of greens, two ounces of butter, or six 
ounces of cheese. 

He often devoured a bullock's liver raw, three pounds of 
candles, and a few pounds of raw beef, in one day, without 
tasting bread or vegetables, washing it down with water, if his 
allowance of beer was expended. 

His subsistence, independent of his own rations, arose 
from the generosity of the prisoners, who gave him a share 
of their allowance. Nor was his stomach confined to meat ; 
for when in the hospital, where some of the patients refused to 
take their medicines, Domery had no objection to perform this 
for them, whatever the contents, or however large; his stomach 
never rejected anything, as he never vomited. 

Wishing fairly to try how much he actually could eat in one 
day, on the 17th of September, 1799, at four o'clock in the 
morning he breakfasted on four pounds of raw cow's udder ; at 
half-past nine, in presence of Dr. Johnston, commissioner of 
sick and wounded seamen, Admiral Child and his son, Mr. 
Forster, agent for prisoners, and several respectable gentlemen, 
he exhibited his power as follows : There was set before him 
five pounds of raw beef, and twelve tallow candles of a pound 
weight, and one bottle of porter ; these he finished by half-past 
ten o'clock. At one o'clock there was again put before him 
five pounds of beef and one pound of candles, with three bot- 


ties of porter ; at which time he was locked up in the room, 
and sentries placed at the windows to prevent his throwing 
away any of his provisions. At two o'clock he had nearly 
finished the whole of the candles, and a great part of the 
beef, but had neither evacuation by vomiting, stool, or 
urine ; his skin was cool, and pulse regular, and in good 
spirits. At a quarter past six, when he was to be returned 
to his prison, he had devoured the whole, and declared he 
could have eaten more ; but from the prisoners without 
telling that some experiment was being made on him, 
he began to be alarmed. It is also to be observed that the 
day was hot, and not having his usual exercise in the yard, 
it may be presumed he would have otherwise had a better appe- 
tite. On recapitulating the whole consumption of this day, it 
stands thus : — 

Eaw cow's udder 4 pounds. 

Eaw beef 10 

Candles 2 

Total 16 pounds, besides five 

bottles of porter. 

The eagerness with which he attacked his beef when his 
stomach was not gorged, resembled the voracity of a hungry wolf, 
tearing off and swallowing it with canine greediness. When 
his throat was dry from continued exercise, he lubricated it by 
stripping the grease off the candles between his teeth, which he 
generally finished at three mouthfuls, and wrapping the wick 
like a ball, string and all, sent it after at a swallow. He could, 
when no choice was left, make shift to dine on immense quan- 
tities of raw potatoes, or turnips; but, from choice, would 
never desire to taste bread or vegetables. 

He was in every respect healthy, his tongue clean, and his eyes 

After he went to the prison, he danced, smoked his pipe, and 
drank a bottle of porter ; and, by four the next morning, he 
awoke with his usual ravenous appetite, which he quieted by a 
few pounds of raw beef. 


He was six feet three inches high, pale complexion, grey eyes, 
long brown hair, well made but thin, his countenance rather 
pleasant, and was good tempered. 

The above was written from his own mouth, in the presence of, 
and attested by, Destauban, French Surgeon; Le Fournier, 
Steward of the Hospital ; Eevet, Commissaire de la Prison ; 
Le Flem, Soldat de laseconde Demi Brigade, and Thomas Coch- 
rane, M.D., Inspector and Surgeon of the Prison, and Agent, &c. 
for Sick and Wounded Seamen. 

Liverpool, September 9, 1799. 

John Bynon, 
Clerk in the Office for Sick and Wounded Seamen. 

Queries and Answers. 

1. What were the circumstances of his sleep and perspira- 

He got to bed about eight o'clock at night, immediately 
after which he began to sweat, and that so profusely, as to be 
obliged to throw off his shirt. He felt extremely hot, and in 
an hour or two after went to sleep, which lasted until one in the 
morning, after which he always felt himself hungry, even 
though he had lain down with a full stomach. He then ate 
bread or beef, or whatever provision he might have reserved 
through the day ; and if he had none, he beguiled the time in 
smoking tobacco. About two o'clock he went to sleep again 
and awoke at five or six o'clock in the morning, in a violent 
perspiration, with great heat. This left him on getting up ; 
and when he had laid in a fresh cargo of raw meat (to use his 
own expression), he felt his body in a good state. He sweated 
while he was eating ; and it was probably owing to this constant 
propensity to exhalation from the surface of the body, that his 
skin was commonly found to be cool. 

2. What was his heat by the thermometer ? 

I have often tried it, and found it to be of the standard tem- 
perature of the human body. His pulse was eighty-four ; full 
and regular. 


3. Could this ravenous appetite be traced higher than his 

He knew nothing of his ancestors beyond his father. "When 
he left the country, eleven years ago, his father was alive, aged 
about fifty, a tall, stout man, always healthy, and he could re- 
member was a great eater ; he was too young to recollect the 
quantity, but that he eat his meat half boiled. He did not 
recollect that either himself or his brothers had any ailment, 
excepting the small-pox, which ended favourably with them 
all. He was then an infant. His face was perfectly smooth. 

4. Was his muscular strength greater or less than that of other 
men at his time of life 1 

Though his muscles were pretty firm, I do not think they were 
so full or plump as those of most other men. He had, however, 
by his own declaration, carried a load of three hundred weight 
of flour in France, and marched fourteen leagues in a day. 

5. Was he dull or intelligent 1 

He could neither read nor write, but was very intelligent and 
conversable, and could give a distinct and consistent answer to 
any question put to him. I have put a variety at different times, 
and in different shapes, tending to throw all the light possible 
on his history, and never found that he varied ; so that I am 
inclined to believe that he adhered to truth. 

6. Under what circumstance did his voracious disposition 
first come on ? 

It came on at the age of thirteen, as has been already stated. 
He was then in the service of Prussia, at the siege of Thion- 
ville ; they were at that time much straitened for provision, 
and as he found this did not suit him, he deserted into the 
town. He was conducted to the French General, who pre- 
sented him with a large melon, which he devoured, rind and 
all, and then an immense quantity and variety of other species 
of food, to the great entertainment of that officer and his suite. 
From that time he preferred raw to dressed meat : and 
when he ate a moderate quantity of what had been either 
roasted or boiled, he threw it up immediately. What is stated 
above, therefore, respecting Ms never vomiting, is not to be 


understood literally, but imports merely that those things 
which are most nauseous to others had no effect upon his 

There is nothing farther to remark but that after the attested 
narrative was drawn up, he repeatedly indulged himself in 
the cruel repasts before described, devouring the whole animal, 
except the skin, bones, and bowels : but this was put a stop 
to, on account of the scandal which was justly excited. 

In considering this case, it seems to afford some matters for 
reflection, which are not only objects of considerable novelty 
and curiosity, but interesting and important, by throwing light 
on the process by which the food is digested and disposed of. 

Monstrosity and disease, whether in the structure of parts, 
or in the functions and appetites, illustrate particular points of 
the animal economy, by exhibiting them in certain relations in 
which they are not to be met with in the common course of 
nature. The power of the stomach, in so quickly dissolving, 
assimilating, and disposing of the aliment in ordinary cases, 
must strike every reflecting person with wonder ; but the his- 
tory of this case affords a more palpable proof, and more clear 
conception of these processes, just as objects of sight become 
more sensible and striking when viewed by a magnifying glass, 
or when exhibited on a larger scale. 

The facts here set forth tend also to place in a strong light 
the great importance of the discharge by the skin, and to prove 
that it is by this outlet, more than by the bowels, that the ex- 
crementitious parts of the aliment are evacuated — that there 
is an admirable co-operation established between the skin and 
the stomach, by means of that consent of parts so observable 
and so necessary to the other functions of the animal economy — 
and that the purpose of aliment is not merely to administer to 
the growth and repair of the body, but by its bulk and peculiar 
stimulus to maintain the play of the organs essential to life. 

From such a subject as this the heart naturally revolts, and 
we are happy in closing so disagreeable a biography. May 
future records never be stained with another so detestable a 
creature as Charles Domery — so appalling to every natural and 


civilized feeling, so degrading to the human character. There 
are numerous instances of voracity in existence, but none so 
revolting to humanity as this. 

Thomas Parr, 

Who died at the age of 15s Years. 

JN the year 1635, John Taylor, the water poet, published a 
pamphlet, " The Olde, Olde, Very Olde Man ; or, The Age 
and Long Life of Thomas Parr, the Sonne of John Parr, of 
Winnington, in the Parish of Alderbury, in the County of 
Salopp (or Shropshire), who was born in the reign of Edward 
the IVth, and is now living in the Strand, being aged 152 
years and odd month es. His manner of life and conversation 
in so long a pilgrimage ; his marriages, and his bringing up to 
London about the end of September last, 1635." 

From this scarce book, which is almost the only work of 
authenticity that contains any particulars concerning the vene- 
rable subject of this article, we shall present the reader with a 
few extracts. 

" The Right Hon. Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl 
Marshal of England, &c, being lately in Shropshire to visit 
some lands and manors, which his lordship holds in that county; 
or, for some other occasions of importance, the report of this 
aged man was certified to his honour ; who hearing of so re- 
markable a piece of antiquity, his lordship was pleased to see 
him, and in his innate noble and Christian piety, he took him 
into his charitable tuition and protection ; commanding a litter 
and two horses, (for the more easy carriage of a man so en- 
feebled and worn with age) to be provided for him ; also, that 
a daughter-in-law of his (named Lucy) should likewise attend 
him, and have a horse for her owne riding with him ; and to 






cheer up the old man, and make him merry; there was an 
antique-faced fellow, called Jack, or John the Fool, with a 
high and mighty no beard, that had also a horse for his carriage. 
These all were to be brought out of the country to London, by 
easie journeys, the charges being allowed by his lordship : and 
likewise one of his honour's own servants, named Brian Kelly, 
to ride on horseback with them, and to attend and defray all 
manner of reckonings and expenses ; all which was done accord- 
ingly as followeth. 

" Winnington is a hamlet in the parish of Alderbury, near a 
place called the Welsh Poole, eight miles from Shrewsbury ; 
from whence he was carried to Wem, a town of the earl's 
aforesaid ; and the next day to Sheffnal, (a manor house of 
his lordship's) where they likewise stayed one night; from 
Sheffnal they came to Wolverhampton, and the next ' day to 
Brimicham, from thence to Coventry, and although Master 
Kelley had much to do to keep the people off : they pressed 
upon him, in all places where he came, yet at Coventry he was 
most opprest : for they came in such multitudes to see the old 
man, that those who defended him were almost quite tyred and 
spent, and the aged man in danger to have been stifled ; and 
in a word, the rabble were so unruly, that Bryan was in doubt 
he should bring his charge no further ; (so greedy are the vulgar 
to hearken to, or gaze after novelties.) 

" The trouble being over, the next day they passed to Daven- 
try, to Stony-stratford, to Kedburn, and so to London, where 
he is well entertained and accommodated with all things, having 
all the aforesaid attendants at the sole charge and cost of his 

The above-mentioned writer then proceeds to inform us, in 
verse, that " John Parr, (a man that lived by husbandry) 

" Begot this Thomas Parr, and horn was he 
The year of fourteen hundred, eighty three. 
And as his father's living and his trade, 
Was plough and cart, scythe, sickle bill, and spade, 
The harrow, mattock, flail, rake, fork, and goad, 
And whip, and how to load and to unload ; 


Old Tom hath shew'd himself the son of John, 
And from his father's function has not gone." 

He then continues : — 

" Tom Parr hath lived, as by record - appears, 
Nine months, one hundred fifty and two years. 
For by records, and true certificate, 
From Shropshire late, relations doth relate, 
That he lived seventeen years with John his father, 
And eighteen with a master, which I gather 
To be full thirty-five ; his sire's decease 
Left him four years' possession of a lease ; 
Which past, Lewis Porter, gentleman, did then 
For twenty-one years grant his lease agen ; 
That lease expired, the son of Lewis, called. John, 
Let him the like lease, and that time being gone, 
Then Hugh, the son of John, (last named before) 
For one and twenty years, sold one lease more. 
And lastly, he hath held from John, Hugh's son, » 

A lease for's life these fifty years outrun ; * 

And till old Thomas Parr to earth again 
Return, the last lease must his own remain." 

John Taylor then relates the following curious anecdote of 
Old Parr's craft in endeavouring to over-reach his landlord. 

" His three leases of sixty-three years being expired, he took 
his last lease of his landlord, (one Master John Porter) for his 
life, with which lease he hath lived more than fifty years ; but 
this old man would (for his wife's sake) renew his lease for 
years, which his landlord would not consent unto ; wherefore 
old Parr, (having been long blind) sitting in his chair by the 
' fire, his wife looked out of the window, and perceived Master 
Edward Porter, son of his landlord, to come towards their 
house, which she told her husband ; saying, ' husband,- our 
young landlord is coming hither.' ' Is he so'?' said old Parr, 
' I prithee, wife, lay a pin on the ground near my foot, or at 
my right toe,' which she did, and when Master Porter, (yet 
forty years old) was come into the house, after salutations 
between them, the old man said, ' wife, is not that a pin which 
lies at my foot f ' Truly, husband,' quoth she, ' it is a pin 
indeed,' so she took up the pin, and Master Porter was half in 


a maze that the old man had recovered his sight again ; but it 
was quickly found to be a witty conceit, thereby to have them 
suppose him to be more lively than he was, because he hoped 
to have his lease renewed for his wife's sake, as aforesaid." 
With respect to his matrimonial connexions, Taylor says : — 

" A tedious time a bachelor he tarried, 
Full eighty years of age before he married : 
His continence to question I'll not call, 
Man's frailty's weak, and oft to slip and fall. 
No doubt but he in fourscore years doth find, 
In Salop's country, females fair and kind : 
Bat what have I to do with that ? let pass — 
At the age aforesaid he first married was 
To Jane, John Taylor's daughter ; and 'tis said, 
That she, (before he had her) was a maid. 
With her he lived years three times ten and two, 
And then she died (as all good wives will do). 
She dead, he ten years did a widower stay, 
Then once more ventured in the wedlock way : 
And in affection to his first wife Jane, 
He took another" of that name again : 
(With whom he now doth live) she was a widow 
To one named Anthony (and surnamed Adda) 
She was (as by report it doth appear) 
Of Gillsett's parish, in Montgomeryshire, 
The daughter of John Floyde (corruptly Flood) 
Of ancient house, and gentle Cambrian blood." 

Of Thomas Parr's issue, the same writer says, in plain prose, 
" He hath had two children by his first wife, a son, and a 
daughter ; the boy's name was John, and lived but ten weeks, 
the girl was named Joan, and she lived but three weeks." 

A story of an intrigue for which Old Thomas was chastised 
by the church, is thus versified by Taylor : — 

In's first wife's time, 

He frailly, foully, fell into a crime, 

Which richer, poorer, older men, and younger, 

More base, more noble, weaker men, and stronger 

Have fall'n into, 

For from the emperor to the russet clown, 

All states, each sex, from cottage to the crown, 

Have in all ages since the first creation, 

Been foil'd, and overthrown with love's temptation : 

So was Old Thomas, for he chanced to spy 

A beauty, and love entered at his eye ; 


Whose powerful motion drew on sweet consent, 
Consent drew action, action drew content ; 
But when the period of those joys were past, 
Those sweet delights were sourly sauced at last. 
Fair Katharin Milton was this beauty bright, 
(Fair like an angel, but in weight too light) 
Whose fervent feature did inflame so far, 
The ardent fervor of old Thomas Parr, 
That for law's satisfaction, 'twas thought meet, 
He should be purged, by standing in a sheet ; 
Which aged (he) one hundred and five year, 
In Alberbury's parish church did wear. 
Should all that so offend such pennaunce do, 
Oh, what a price would linen rise unto ! % 

All would be turned to sheets ; our shirts and smocks, 
Our table linen, very porters' frocks, 
Would hardly 'scape transforming." 

Mr. Grainger, in his Biographical History of England, says 
that " at a hundred and twenty he married Catherine Milton, 
his second wife, whom he got with child ; and was, after that 
era of his life, employed in thrashing and other husbandry 
work. When he was about a hundred and fifty-two years of 
age, he was brought up to London by Thomas, Earl of Arundel, 
and carried to court. The King (Charles I.) said to him, ' You 
have lived longer than any other men ; what have you done 
more than other men ? ' He replied, ' I did penance when I 
was a hundred years old.' " 

The concluding scene of Old Parr's life is thus described by 
Taylor :— 

-His limbs their strength have left, 

His teeth all gone (but one) his sight bereft. 

His sinews shrunk, his blood most chill and cold, 

Small solace, imperfections manifold : 

Yet still his spirits possess his mortal trunk, 

Nor are his senses in his ruins shrunk ; 

But that his hearing's quick, his stomach good, 

He'll feed well, sleep well, well digest his food. 

He will speak heartily, laugh and be merry ; 

Drink ale, and now and then a cup of cherry ; 

Loves company, and understanding talk, 

And on both sides held up, will sometimes walk, 

And, though old age his face with wrinkles ii,l, 

He hath been handsome, and is comely still ; 

Engraved, "by H. Coop en 

*s /> / // / / 

7 ri#.<?i&>. 


Well-faced ; and though his beard not oft corrected, 
Yet neat it grows, not like a beard neglected." 

John Taylor concludes his account of this wonderful 'old man, 
by saying, " that it appears he hath out-lived the most part of 
the people near there (meaning Alderbury) three times over." 

Old Parr did not long survive his removal to the metropolis 
where he died on the 15th of November, 1635, and was buried 
in Westminster Abbey. It is conceived that the change of air 
and diet, together with the trouble of numerous visitors, must 
have accelerated his death. 

The portrait which accompanies this account is from a like- 
ness taken by the illustrious painter Eubens, who saw Parr 
when he was above 140 years of age, and painted him. 

Thomas Hudson, 

Remarkable for his Misfortimes. 

TTUDSON was a native of Leeds in Yorkshire ; and in the 
•*• -*■ earlier part of his life, filled a respectable situation as 
clerk in a government office in London : while in this employ- 
ment, he came into possession of a considerable fortune by the 
death of an aunt ; upon which, he retired into Staffordshire, 
where he remained for some years, in the enjoyment of every 
earthly happiness ; till unfortunately he became a party to the 
celebrated South Sea scheme ; and so sanguine was he of suc- 
cess, that he ventured the whole of his fortune in that disastrous 

Misfortune now became his intimate companion — the news 
of the failure of his darling scheme arrived at the time when 
he had to witness the decease of an affectionate wife. These 
severe reverses were too much for him : he left his favourite 
residence in a state of bankruptcy, and made the best of his 
way to London. From this period he became in a manner 
insane ; and Tom of Ten Thousand (as he used to call himself) 
was like Poor Joe — all alone ! 

The peculiarity of his dress and the deformity of bis figure 



attracted particular notice : wrapped in a rug, and supported 
by a crutch, without either shoes or stockings, did this poor 
creature perambulate, even in the coldest weather, the fields 
about Chelsea, craving assistance. Sterne says, with much 
truth and feeling, that 

" The Lord tempers the wind to the shorn lamb." 

Let us hope, therefore, that the chilling blasts of winter were 
rendered as congenial to poor Hudson as the balmy breezes of 
a summer's day. 

After many years of misery, death took this " son of mis- 
fortune " from his earthly troubles, in the year 1767, at a very 
advanced age. 

Claude Ambroise Seurat, 

The Living Skeleton. 

CLAUDE AMBEOISE SEUEAT, better known by the 
title of " The Living Skeleton," was undoubtedly the great- 
est natural wonder of the period in which he lived. He was born 
at Troyes, in the department of Champaigne, on the 10th of 
April, 1797, and when exhibited to the public in England, 
where he excited universal astonishment, was just twenty-eight 
years of age. His parents were respectable but poor, and un- 
like their son they both possessed a good constitution, and 
enjoyed robust health. At his birth there was nothing in his 
appearance that indicated disease, but in proportion as he grew 
in size, his flesh gradually wasted away. This remarkable decay 
continued till he arrived at manhood, when he attained his 
full stature, and his frame assumed the identical skeleton form 
which it ever afterwards retained. In France his case excited 
great interest, and he was deemed quite a lusus natures. Many 
proposals were made to his father for the purchase of the body 
of bis son, in the event of his demise, but they were uniformly 
rejected. A medical gentleman of Burgundy indeed offered a 


carte blcmche, which the parent, with feelings highly honourable 
to himself, also refused, stating his determination that in the 
event of his son's death, he should be peaceably consigned to 
the cemetery of his native city. While at Eouen, no less than 
fifteen hundred persons flocked in one day to see Seurat on his 
way to England. 

It was in 1825 that he arrived in the British metropolis. 
Numerous descriptions of him appeared in the journals of the 
day. Perhaps the most graphic of the whole was that which 
Mr. Hone published in his Every Day Book, one of the most 
ingenious works of the time, full of curious, instructive, and 
amusing information, and now a universal library companion. 
A portion of his description we shall proceed to quote. " It 
was on the first day of Seurat's exhibition," says Mr. Hone, 
"that I first visited him. This was on Tuesday the 9th of 
August. I was at the ' Chinese Saloon,' before the doors were 
opened, and was the first of the public admitted, followed by 
my friend, an artist, for the purpose of taking drawings. 
Seurat was not quite ready to appear ; in the meantime, another 
visitor or two arrived, and after examining the canopy, and 
other arrangements, my attention was directed to the Chinese 
papering of the room, while Seurat had silently opened the 
curtains that concealed him, and stood motionless toward the 
front of the platform, as he is represented in the engraving. 
On turning round, I was instantly riveted by his amazing 
emaciation ; he seemed another ' Lazarus, come forth' without 
his grave-clothes, and for a moment I was too consternated to 
observe more than his general appearance. My eye then first 
caught the arm as the most remarkable limb ; from the shoulder 
to the elbow it is like an ivory German flute somewhat deep- 
ened in colour by age ; it, is not larger, and the skin is of that 
hue, and, not having a trace of muscle, it is as perfect a cylinder 
as a writing rule. Amazed by the wasted limbs, I was still 
more amazed by the extraordinary depression of the chest. 
Its indentation is similar to that which an over-careful mother 
makes in the pillowed surface of an infant's bed for its repose. 
Nature has here inverted her own order, and turned the convex 



inwards, while the nobler organs, obedient to her will, maintain 
life by the gentle exercise of their wonted functions in a lower 
region. Below the ribs, the trunk so immediately curves in, 
that the red band of the silk covering, though it is only loosely 
placed, seems a tourniquet to constrict the bowels within their 
prison-house, and the hip-bones, being of their natural size, the 
waist is like a wasp's. By this part of the frame we are re- 
minded of some descriptions of the abstemious and Bedouin 
Arab of the desert, in whom it is said the abdomen seems to 
cling to the vertebrae. If the integument of the bowels can be 
called flesh, it is the only flesh on the body : for it seems to 
have wholly shrunk from the limbs ; and where the muscles 
that have not wholly disappeared remain, they are also shrunk. 
He wears shoes to keep cold from his feet, which are not other- 
wise shaped than those of people who have been accustomed to 
wear tight shoes ; his instep is good, and by no means so flat 
as in the generality of tavern waiters. His legs are not more 
ill-shaped than in extremely thin or much wasted persons ; the 
right leg, which is somewhat larger than the left, is not less 
than were the legs of the late Mr. Suett, the comedian. On 
this point, without a private knowledge of Mr. Liston, I would 
publicly appeal to that gentleman, whom I saw there, accom- 
panied by Mr. Jones. Mr. Liston doubtless remembers Suett, 
and I think he will never forget Seurat, at whom he looked 
' unutterable things' as if he had been about to say ' prodigious !' 
" Seurat's head and body convey a sentiment of anthesis. 
When the sight is fixed on his face alone, there is nothing there 
to denote that he varies from other men. I examined him 
closely and frequently, felt him on different parts of the body, 
and not speaking his language, put questions to him through 
others, which he readily answered. His head has been shaved, 
yet a little hair left on the upper part of the neck, shows it to 
be black, and he wears a wig of that colour. His strong black 
beard is perceptible, although clean shaved. His complexion 
is swarthy, and his features are good, without the emaciation 
of which his body partakes ; the cheek-bones are high, and the 
eyes are dark brown, approaching to black. They are repre- 




sented as heavy and dull, and denote little mental capacity ; 
•but, perhaps, a watchful observer, who made pertinent inquiries 
; of him in a proper manner, would remark otherwise. His fea- 
tures are flexible, and therefore capable of great animation, 
and his forehead indicates capacity. On any other than a 
common-place question, he elevates his head to an ordinary 
-position, answers immediately and with precision, and dis- 
courses rationally and sensibly ; more sensibly than some in 
the room, who put childish questions about him to the attend- 
iants, and express silly opinions as to his physical and mental 
structure and abilities, and call him ' a shocking creature.' 
There is nothing shocking either ir^ his mind or his face. His 
countenance has an air of melanchojy, but he expresses no feeling 
of the kind ; and his voice is "pleasing, tleep-toned, and gentle." 
* Such was the celebrated Living Skeleton seen by Mr. Hone 
and the thousands whom curiosity led to behold so remarkable 
a being. By his exhibition in this country he realized a little 
fortune with which he immediately retired to his native place, 
but did not live long to enjoy it. 

George Romondo, 

An Eccentric Mimic. 

GEORGE ROMONDO, or Raymondo, attracted the notice 
of many by the singularity of his figure and dress. He 
was about three feet six inches in height. He had a large hat, 
cocked before and hanging down behind, like those commonly 
worn by coal-heavers. He was seldom seen except holding the 
skirts of his long coat behind him, lest they should be entangled 
with his feet. Each of his legs and thighs formed a large seg- 
ment of a circle. When to this is added his peculiar physiog- 
nomy — for an idea of which we refer to the plate— the whole 
formed such an extraordinary figure as no person could pass 
without a second look. 

Raymondo was a native of Lisbon, where he was born about 
the year 1765, of Jewish parents. He possessed a very acute 


ear, and such a voice that there was scarcely any kind of sound 
which he was not capable of imitating. He not only gave the 
tones of the trumpet, the horn, the violin, the drum, the bag- 
pipe, and other instruments, but he modulated his powers to 
the braying of asses, the grunting of hogs, the barking of dogs, 
and the sounds emitted by almost every kind of. animal. He 
also perfectly imitated the harsh noise produced by the sawing 
of wood, and other operations. These sounds he made with 
the assistance of his hand placed against a wall or wainscot, 
whence he wished to persuade those who were ignorant of his 
talents that the noise proceeded. 

The possession of this extraordinary faculty recommended 
him to the notice of a crafty Italian, who persuaded Eaymondo 
to accompany him to England, where the patronage of a gene- 
rous public was ever ready to reward talent of every description, 
and where he flattered him with the hope of speedily acquiring 
a fortune. He exhibited his powers in the metropolis and in 
other places. The Italian was at first a considerable gainer by 
his performances, poor Eaymondo receiving only a small daily 
stipend for his exertions ; but, the music not perfectly according 
with the ears of those who had the most money to spend, the 
speculation failed, and the projector turned our hero adrift to 
provide for himself. 

Being far from his native country and friends, and having no 
hope of a new engagement, he was at first under some embar- 
rassment how to proceed. His ingenuity, however, soon fur- 
nished him with an expedient for supplying his necessities. 
He entered a public-house unnoticed, and, with the tremendous 
roaring of a lion, threw the company into the utmost alarm. 
From this, however, they soon recovered, on discovering the 
grotesque figure of Eaymondo, with whom they were soon so 
highly delighted, that a subscription was set on foot for his 
benefit; and the recollection of the treacherous Italian was 
soon effaced from his mind. 

The success of this experiment determined him to proceed in 
the same career, and he afterwards made a practice of visiting 
the public-houses in obscure streets in the evening, where he 




contrived, by the exhibition of his talents, to obtain a tolerable 
subsistence. At Bartholomew Fair, in 1804, he condescended 
to take his station before one of the booths, where, with his 
usual good humour, he invited the gay visitors to enter and 
witness the extraordinary exhibition within. 

Kaymondo, in his character and disposition, was perfectly 
harmless and inoffensive. His placid disposition was displayed 
in his countenance, for he was seldom to be seen without a 
smile upon his face, particularly when he met females ; and he 
declared that he " was sure the ladies must see something in 
him that pleased them, otherwise he should not be blessed with 
their looks." 

His principal ramble during the day was from the Haymarket 
to Duke's Pla^e. 

Francis Trovillou, 

The Horned Man. 

TN the year 1598 a horned man was exhibited for a show, at 
■*■ Paris, two months successively, and from thence carried to 
Orleans, where he died soon after. His name was Francis 
Trovillou,* of whom Fabritius, in his Chirurgical Observations, 
gives the following description : — " He was of a middle stature, 
a full body, bald, except in the hinder part of the head, which 
had a few hairs upon it ; his temper was morose, and his de- 
meanour altogether rustic. He was born in a little village called 
Mezieres, and bred up in the woods amongst the charcoal men. 
About the seventh year of his age he began to have a swelling 
in his forehead, so that in the course of about ten years he 
had a horn there as big as a man's finger-end, which after- 
wards did admit of that growth and increase, that when he 
came to be thirty-five years old this horn had both the big- 
ness and resemblance of a ram's horn. It grew upon the midst 
of his forehead, and then bended backward as far as the coronal 
suture where the other end of it did sometimes so stick in the 
* Variously spelt Trouille, Trouilli, and Trovillu. 


skin that, to avoid much, pain, he was constrained to cut off 
some part of the end of it. Whether this horn had its roots 
in the skin or forehead, I know not ; but probably, being of 
that weight and bigness, it grew from the skull itself. Nor am 
I certain whether this man had any of those teeth which we 
call grinders. It was during this man's public exposure in 
Paris, (saith Urstitious), in 1598, that I, in company with Dr. 
Jacobus Faeschius, the public Professor of Basil, and Mr. 
Joannes Eckenstenius, did see and handle this horn." 

Samuel M'Donald, 

Commonly called " Big Sam!' 

C AMUEL M'DONALD, better known in Scotland by the 
^ name of " Big Sam,'' from his immense bulk, was born in 
the parish of Lairg, Sutherlandshire, and during the latter part 
of the American war, was a private in the Sutherland Fencibles. 
He afterwards entered the Boyals, in which regiment he became 
fugleman. It was while in this situation that he attracted the 
notice of the Prince of Wales, (afterwards George the Fourth,) 
who made him lodge-porter at Carlton House. Having held 
this office about two years, he gave in his resignation, and 
again entered the Sutherland Fencibles, in which he was now 
appointed a sergeant. 

Sam was six feet ten inches high, measured four feet round 
the chest, and was stout and muscular in proportion. He had 
also an exceedingly clear and sonorous voice. With these 
physical properties, he was bland in his manner and deport- 
ment, and extremely good-natured. As a drill sergeant, there- 
fore, he was unrivalled ; and consequently was very often 
employed in that capacity. In this position, however, as well 
as several others of a military nature, he acquitted himself so 
as to obtain general esteem. In consequence of his great 
height, he always marched at the head of the regiment when 
in column, and on these occasions his appearance was rendered 


more striking by his being accompanied by a mountain deer of 
a size corresponding nearly with his own. Some extraordinary 
anecdotes are told of this Scottish, Hercules, as he was usually 
called in England, but they generally savour of the marvellous. 
The following, which we extract from " Kay's Edinburgh Por- 
traits/' are given as authentic by the ingenious author of that 
amusing work. 

When Sam was in London, he was advised to show himself 
for money, but he spurned this suggestion as tending to de- 
grade the Highland character. He so far acted upon it, how- 
ever, as to dress in female attire, and advertise as " the remark- 
ably tall woman." By this expedient, or rather this compromise 
between his honour and his desire of gain, he became so well 
furnished with cash that his expenditure attracted the notice 
of his colonel, who was curious to ascertain from what source 
he obtained his supplies. Sam, on being interrogated, candidly 
acknowledged the fact at once, and thus the secret transpired. 

While in the service of the Prince of Wales, he was once 
persuaded, at the request of his Royal Highness, to appear on 
the stage. It was in the dramatic entertainment of " Cymon 
and Iphigenia," which was performed at the Opera-house in the 
Haymarket, then occupied by the Drury Lane company. The 
character represented by Sam was the appropriate one of 
Hercules. How he acquitted himself is not recorded, but we 
may presume that he came off with no very great eclat, as he 
never appeared again. It is probable that this, and also some 
other tasks of even a less agreeable description, induced him 
to leave his Eoyal Highness's service. 

Numerous anecdotes are told of Sam's great strength, some 
of which are also no doubt apocryphal. But the one we are 
about to relate may be relied on. He was one day challenged 
by two soldiers of his own regiment, on the understanding 
that he was to fight both at once. Sam reluctantly agreed, 
but said, as he had no quarrel with them, he should like to 
shake hands with them before they began. One of them in- 
stantly held out his hand, which Sam seized ; but instead of 
giving it the friendly shake expected, he used it as a lever to 


raise its owner from the ground, when he swung him round as 
he would a cat by the tail, and threw him to a great distance. 
The other combatant, not admiring this preliminary process, 
immediately took to his heels. On another occasion, in the 
barrack-room, one of the men requested him to hand down a 
loaf from a shelf, which was beyond his own jeach. Sam im- 
mediately caught the man by the neck in jest, and holding 
him up at arm's length, said, "There, take it down yourself." 
He died, universally regretted, while with the regiment at 
Guernsey, in the year 1802. 

Miss H arvey, 

The Beautiful Albiness. 

'T^HIS highly interesting and pleasing phenomenon in nature, 
-*- was born at a town in Essex, within forty miles of Lon- 
don, of English parents of the name of Harvey. They were 
people who were remarkable by no peculiar kind of complexion, 
but were of that ordinary colour, so natural to the English, 
which is neither fair nor dark, though rather inclined to the 
latter. They had six children ; three of whom inherited the 
same complexion as their parents, and two, who died early, 
presented the same extraordinary appearance, and possessed 
the same coloured skin, hair, and eyes as the subject of our 

The tint of Miss Harvey's skin was delicately fair, with a 
moderate portion of colour ; but her hair was most wonderful : 
it was of the exquisite very pale straw colour of the silkworm's 
silk, as first spun by that miraculous production of nature, and 
of the same fine glossy texture. Her eyes were about a shade 
lighter than an Indian pink, a mixture of rose-colour and lilac ; 
they were very expressive, and though her eyelashes and eye- 
brows were quite white, her countenance was strikingly ani- 
mated. Her fine, long, clean hair was as pleasant to the touch 
as to the eye, and was kept so by frequent immersion in warm 
water, as she never used either a comb or brush. Her manners 

<y* forever. 

SASH I®Wg^, 


were pleasing and well-bred, her voice sweet, and she sang with 
taste though her vocal talents had not been much cultivated. 

There was a delicacy and modest animation in her demeanour 
which rendered her truly interesting. Her conversation was 
fluent and agreeable, and she possessed a happy art of warding 
off and' repressing impertinent remarks, without being impolite, 
while she yet maintained a proper feminine dignity. In spite, 
however, of all this, it seems that a mob at Glasgow Fair were 
once so little affected with her beauty, that they turned her out 
of her booth, as they turned out also a showful of wild beasts. 

A pregnant female was once attracted by curiosity to go and 
see this beautiful phenomenon, and it is related that she was 
delivered soon after of a daughter, whose eyes were of the 
same pink colour, and whose hair grew long and silky like that' 
of the Albiness. 

Sam House, 

The Patriotic Publican. 

THE life of this "Liberty Boy" presents perhaps one of the 
brightest examples of political integrity on record. 
His zeal in the cause of Mr. Fox was purely disinterested and 
unconquerable: it was "attachment never to be weaned, or 
changed by any change of fortune : fidelity, that neither bribe 
nor threat could move, or warp ;" and although only a publi- 
can, so great was his interest, and so persevering his exertions, 
that he was considered the principal cause of returning his 
friend to Parliament for Westminster, in the ever memorable 
contest between Fox, Hood, and Sir Cecil Wray. 

Assisted only by a slender education, at the usual age, he 
was apprenticed to the late Mr. Peavy, house cooper, Bain- 
bridge Street, St. Giles's ; but his master being cruel in his dis- 
position, he soon left his service ; and at the age of eighteen, 
he was thrown on his own resources for a livelihood. It was 


the ill usage he received while with his master, that probably 
made him the implacable enemy to tyranny and oppression, 
that he continued to show himself through the future period of 
his life. 

His active, industrious habits soon procured him a situation ; 
for we find him house-cooper at the Peacock brewhouse, White- 
cross Street ; then at Mr. Green's brewhouse at Pimlico ; after- 
wards a broad cooper at Mason's brewhouse, St. Giles's, and at 
Camberton's, at Hampstead : by his industry at these places, 
he acquired money enough to take a public-house, at the corner 
of Peter Street, Wardour Street, Soho, called the Gravel Pits, 
which he soon afterwards changed to the " Intrepid Fox, or 
the Cap of Liberty :" he was then twenty-five years of age. 

About this period he rendered himself the subject of general 
conversation for some time, by undertaking, for a considerable 
wager, to leap off Westminster Bridge into the river Thames. 
This he engaged to do against any Newfoundland dog that 
should be brought. 

At the time appointed, Sam and his friends made their 
appearance ; having reached the top of the bridge, a circle was 
formed for the adventurer to undress, which being done, he 
got upon the balustrades of the centre arch, and with the most 
apparent indifference, threw himself into the river and swam 
on shore, without receiving the least injury. 

This singular feat of activity, by every one thought impos- 
sible, without occasioning immediate death, rendered him a 
popular character, and filled his house with customers. Sam, 
not insensible to public approbation, now considered himself of 
some consequence, though in the humble station of a publican. 

In the year 1763, he commenced politician, and took a very 
active part in support of Mr. Wilkes. 

During this violent struggle, Sam sold his beer at threepence 
a pot, in honour of Wilkes, then the champion of freedom ; 
and at his own expense gave entertainments to his neighbours, 
and others, who he thought were friends to the same cause. 
It is said his exertions in the election for Middlesex, on the 
side of the popular candidate, did not cost him less than £500. 


He rendered himself no less conspicuous for his attachment 
to what he called liberty, than for his personal oddities, parti- 
cularly in his dress, which was not only singular, hut laugh- 
ably ridiculous. 

His person was not tall, but of the middling size, he was 
well made, stout, and active. His head was quite bald, with- 
out the appearance of hair, never having much in his youth ; 
without hat or wig. If he wore a hat, which was seldom, it 
had a very broad brim. It may literally be said, he had not a 
coat to his back, for he was not seen wearing a coat for nearly 
thirty years — a black waistcoat, with sleeves, was its substi- 
tute ; he was always clean in his linen, which was of the best 
kind, but never buttoned his shirt at the collar ; his breeches 
were of the same sort and colour as the waistcoat, and open at 
the knees ; silk stockings of the best sort, either white or mot- 
tled, decorated his legs, which were deemed handsome by the 
ladies ; but he frequently went without stockings, and either 
with or without, wore a neat pair of black slippers. 

Sam's great foible was swearing ; indeed, he had so habitu- 
ated himself to that disgraceful practice, that he could not ex- 
press himself without it : it was, he said, the only language he 
understood : had he been blessed with a better education it 
would probably have been otherwise. At one of the monthly 
meetings of the Electors of Westminster, at the Shakspeare, 
the Duke of Eutland intimated a desire to speak to House. He 
was accordingly called towards the table where his Grace sat, 
who addressed him by asking, if he could not converse with- 
out swearing. His reply was, " Damn your eyes, would you 
have a man speak in any other language but what he is master 
of?" This answer was final, and prevented a conference be- 
tween two great men, his Grace and Sam House. 

Sam (in imitation, it is supposed, of his old bottle companion 
and intimate acquaintance, Mr. Thomas, who lived at Hop- 
wood's, near the King's Bench, and who, for a long time, made 
use of his coffin as a corner cupboard, which he kept well stored 
with rum and brandy, to ■ be drank at his death,) — ordered a 
coffin to be made of wicker. The men who were employed on 


this occasion living at Sam's expense, and ■wishing to make the 
job last till they got another, were very backward in construct- 
ing the lid. Sam discovering this, and his patience being quite 
exhausted, one day, when they were drinking as usual, he ex- 
claimed, " Get out of my house, ye resurrection rascals; I'll be 
damned if you have me yet ;" and dragging the coffin from 
under the bed, cut it in pieces, and threw it on the fire. 

With regard to the political sentiments of Sam House, he 
was uniform in support of the rights of the people, in opposi- 
tion to the influence of the crown. At the election for West- 
minster in the year 1780, when the contest was violent between 
Lord Lincoln, supported by the court, and Mr. Fox, supported 
by the people, he exerted every nerve in favour of the - latter, 
and erected the standard of liberty at his own expense, for the 
sons of freedom to regale themselves with beef, beer, &c. 
During the poll he headed a considerable number of electors 
every day to the hustings, who gave their suffrages to Mr. Fox. 

His exertions in the cause of his friend were again conspi- 
cuous during the memorable contest for Westminster between 
Fox, Hood, and Wray. 

When tendering his vote for Fox, at the hustings, he was 
asked his trade : " I am,'' said he, " a publican, and a re- 

At a dinner of the friends of Mr. Fox, at the Shakspeare 
Tavern, Covent Garden, amongst other toasts, a gentleman 
proposed to give Sam House. On which Mr. Byng said he 
was exceedingly happy in the opportunity of expressing his 
hearty concurrence, in paying respect to a man who had, on 
many occasions, distinguished himself as a warm friend to 
liberty. He begged leave, he said, to mention an instance of 
genuine and disinterested patriotism, which he could relate 
from his own knowledge, a circumstance that would have done 
honour to the first character in this country. Sam, observing 
that the influence of the Court would, if possible, prevent the 
electors of Westminster from having the man of their choice, 
without any solicitation opened his house. The friends of Mr. 
Fox, seeing the profusion of Sam, were afraid that through his 
uncommon zeal in the cause of freedom he would injure him- 


self, and determined to make him a recompence ; but knowing 
his greatness of soul and independent spirit, the difficulty was, 
to do it in such a way as not to hurt his feelings. It was 
therefore agreed that a quantity of beer and spirits should be 
sent him, to supply what he had given away. Mr. Byng and 
some other friends waited upon Sam, and acquainted him with 
this resolution ; when, said Mr. Byng, what do you think was 
his answer ; (with the calmness of a philosopher, and an ex- 
pressive look of disdain, considering it an insult to offer him a 
recompence), " You may be damned." 

Sam's favourite candidate having obtained a great majority 
at the final close of the poll, he considered this as a complete 
victory over power, influence, and oppression, which gave him 
great satisfaction. All his anxiety, labour, and fatigue during 
this contest, in the congratulations of his friends on the happy 
issue of the business, melted away like snow before the sun, 
and his cares were absorbed in the flowing bowl. 

Though of a strong constitution, yet as neither strength, 
wisdom, nor courage can guard against accidents which may 
prove fatal, Sam got cold at the time of the election, which 
was followed by an inflammation in his bowels, attended with 
the most dangerous symptoms, till nature, unable to resist the 
force of a complication of disorders, gave way to the all-con- 
quering power of death, on the 25th of April, 1785. 

A few hours before his death, Sir John Elliot informed Mr. 
Pox of his dangerous situation. Mr. Fox immediately went to 
see him, and sat by his bed-side a considerable time. "When he 
was gone, Sam expressed great pleasure in having seen his 
friend, the champion of freedom, and said that Mr. Fox took 
him by the hand, treated him with great tenderness, and 
hoped he should see him better when he called again. In 
half an hour poor Sam changed, and entirely lost his speech, 
and about six hours after breathed his last, in the sixtieth year 
of his age. 

The death of Sam House was soon spread abroad, and from his 
known eccentricity, people of all descriptions, and in consider- 
able numbers, went to see his corpse. It was intended at first 
to limit this privilege only to his particular friends ; the crowds, 


however, were so great on the following Monday, that it was 
found necessary to throw open the doors for the admission 
of all that came without distinction ; and it is said, that up- 
wards of five hundred persons viewed the dead body. The in- 
terest excited, however, by his death was not to be allayed 
even by the sight of his mortal remains, for all were anxious to 
be present at his funeral ; the day and hour being appointed, 
was almost as quickly known ; and when that time arrived, 
which was to consign those remains to the silent tomb, the 
streets and lanes near Wardour Street were lined with a motley 
assemblage of men, women, and children. 

Sam's funeral took place on Friday evening, April 29, 1785. 
The procession moved slowly down Princes Street, the Hay- 
market, round Charing Cross, along the Strand, and up Bedford 
Street, where it arrived at Covent Garden ; to give additional 
solemnity to the scene, the procession went round the church 
to the north gate ; after the funeral ceremonies were performed 
the body was deposited in the church-yard of St. Paul, by the 
side of his wife, who had died about two years before him. 

The scene on this occasion was of a burlesque description 
little suited to the solemnity of the occasion, so that the last 
act of his surviving friends, was as extraordinary as his cha- 
racter and conduct through life had been remarkable. A 
drunken watchman of St. Ann's, Soho, was engaged to per- 
sonate the deceased in a dress similar to Sam's usual habit. 
In this garb he joined the procession, which caused no little 
controversy among the populace, some contending that it was 
Sam himself, and others maintaining the opposite opinion. 
This man's folly, however, was speedily punished, for, being 
guilty of some irregularities during Divine service, after the 
body was deposited in the ground, the mob handled him very 
roughly, and, forcing him into the hearse which conveyed the 
remains of the person he represented, ordered the coachman to 
drive him to the undertaker's. 

The character of Sam was that of an eccentric, but at the 
same time a well-intentioned and good-hearted, man. His poli- 
tical integrity could never be shaken, and most of the animosi- 
ties he entertained were grounded upon political feelings. He 


was firm and sincere in friendship, honest and upright in his 
dealings, but blunt and sometimes uncouth in his manners ; 
open and free in his communications, but careless and slovenly 
in his dress. The most reprehensible part of his conduct was 
a habit which he had contracted of swearing, which he did 
upon all occasions, without respect to the parties, however ex- 
alted, whom he addressed. His house was greatly frequented 
by hackney coachmen, and it is believed he once kept a hack- 
ney coach of his own. After his death his likeness appeared 
on many coaches. 

In addition to his political eccentricities, Sam had some other 
peculiarities to mark his character. It is related that he once 
laid a wager with a young man to run a race with him in Ox- 
ford Eoad, and in all probability would have won, had it not 
been for an arch trick played upon him by a friend of his ant?/- 
gonist, who, knowing Sam's attachment to his favourite, cried 
out as he passed him, loud enough to be heard by him, " Damn 
Fox, and all his friends, say I ! " This was a fatal speech to 
the race ; for Sam, .regardless of winning or losing, immediately 
attacked this blasphemer, and gave him so severe a drubbing, 
which he did in such a plentiful manner, that the criminal 
roared out lustily that he was only joking. " Damn your 
jokes !" said Samuel ; " I am only joking. Take that, and take 
that, and learn to time your jokes better ; I don't like such 
jokes." This amused the surrounding spectators, perhaps 
equally as well as the race would have done; and Sam con- 
tented himself by gaining a victory, although he had lost his 
wager, which he afterwards paid with great pleasure, in con- 
sequence of his having lost it in so noble a cause. 

Sam also manifested his attachment to Keys, whom he al- 
ways called " his true and tried friend." About a month be- 
fore he died he sent for Major Labalier, and also desired Keys 
to attend. At this meeting he told Keys he should be mise- 
rable if he thought he would ever live to be in want, and begged 
of him to accept of £20 a year out of his estate. Keys, how- 
ever, thanked him for his good intentions towards him, but, 
with a spirit of independence equal to that of his friend Sam 
House, declined accepting this offer, declaring his friendship 



was disinterested, and that nothing should induce him to take 
that from Sam's family to which they undoubtedly had a supe- 
rior claim. 

Barbara Urslerin, 

The Hairy-faced Woman. 

'"pHIS remarkable monstrosity was born at Augsburg, in 
■*■ High Germany, in the year 1629. Her face and hands 
are represented to have been hairy all over. Her aspect resem- 
bled that of a monkey. She had a very long and large spread- 
ing beard, the hair of which hung loose and flowing, like the 
hair of the head. She seems to have acquired some skill in 
playing on the organ and harpsichord. 

A certain Michael Vanbeck married this frightful creature, on 
purpose to carry her about for a show. When she died is un- 
certain, but she was still living in 1668, when a Mr. John Bul- 
finch records that he saw her in Katcliffe Highway, and " was 
satisfied she was a woman." 

There are two portraits of her extant — one by Isaac Brunn, 
taken in 1653, and another by Gaywood, of five years' later 

Mary East, 

Alias James How. 
TX/TARy EAST was born about the year 1715, and when 
■*■* *■ very young was courted by a man for whom she con- 
ceived the strongest affection. This man, afterwards falling 
into bad courses, resolved to try his fortune on the highway ; 
but it was not long before he was apprehended for a robbery, 
for which he was tried and condemned to die ; the sentencej 
however, was changed to transportation. This circumstance, 
which happened about the year 1731, so deeply affected the 
mind of Mary East, that she determined ever after to remain 
single. In the neighbourhood of her residence lived another 


young -woman, who, having likewise met with several dis- 
appointments in the tender passion, had formed a similar 
resolution. As they were intimate, they communicated their 
intentions to each other, and at length concluded to live 
together. Having consulted on the most prudent method of 
proceeding, it was proposed that one of them should put on 
man's apparel, and- that they should live as man and wife, in 
some place where they were not known. The only difficulty 
now was, who should be the man, which was decided by lot in 
favour of Mary East, who was then about sixteen years of age, 
and her partner seventeen. The sum of money they possessed 
between them was about thirty pounds, with which they set 
out ; and Mary, after purchasing a man's habit, assumed the 
name of James How, by which we shall be obliged, for a while, 
to distinguish her. In their progress they chanced to stop at 
a small public house at Epping, which was to be let ; this house 
they took, and lived in it for some time. 

About this period, a quarrel, of the cause of which we are 
not informed, took place between James How and a young 
gentleman, against whom James, however, entered an action, 
and obtained a verdict for five hundred pounds damages. 
With this sum our couple sought a place in a better situation, 
and took a very good public house in Limehouse Hole, where 
they lived many years as man and wife, in good credit and 
esteem ; and, by their industry and frugality, contrived to save 
a considerable sum of money. Leaving the last-mentioned 
situation, they removed to the "White Horse" at Poplar, 
which, as well as several other houses, they afterwards pur- 

In this manner they had lived about eighteen years, when a 
woman who was acquainted with Mary East in her youth, and 
was in the secret of her metamorphosis, knowing in what 
creditable circumstances she now lived, thought this a favour- 
able opportunity to turn her knowledge to her own advantage. 
She accordingly sent to Mr.' How for ten pounds, at the same 
time intimating that, in case of a refusal, she would disclose all 
Bhe knew concerning the affair. Fearful of her executing this 


388 MA&Y EAST, ' 

threat, James, in compliance with her demand, sent her the 

For a considerable time they remained free from any farther 
demands of a similar nature. How, with her supposed wife, 
continued to live in good credit till the year 1764; she had 
served all the parish offices in Poplar, excepting that of a con- 
stable and churchwarden, from the former of which she was 
excused by a lameness in her hand, occasioned by the quarrel 
above-mentioned, and the functions of the latter she was to 
have performed the following year. She had been several 
times foreman of juries, though her effeminacy was frequently 
remarked. At length, about Christmas, 1764, the woman who 
had practised the former piece of extortion, resolved again to 
have recourse to the same expedient, and with the like menaces 
obtained ten pounds more. Flushed with her success, and 
emboldened to prosecute her system of depredation, a fortnight 
had not elapsed before she repeated her demand for the same 
sum, which James happened not to have in the house ; but, 
still fearing a discovery, sent her back five pounds. 

About this time the supposed wife of James How was taken 
ill and died, and the woman now formed a plan to increase 
her depredations. For this purpose she procured two fellows 
to assist her in its execution : one of these, a mulatto, passed 
for a police officer, and the other was equipped with a pocket 
staff, as a constable. In these characters they repaired to the 
White Horse, and inquired for Mr. How, who answered to the 
name. They informed her that they were come from Justice 
Fielding, to apprehend her for a robbery committed thirty 
years before, and that they were acquainted with the secret of 
her sex. She was terrified to the highest degree on account 
of the discovery, but conscious of her innocence with regard to 
the robbery ; and an intimate acquaintance, Mr. Williams, a 
pawnbroker, happening to pass by, she called him in, and ac- 
quainted him with the business of the two men, adding that 
she was really a woman, but was innocent of the crime with 
which she was charged. Mr. Williams, as soon as he had re- 
covered from the surprise occasioned by this disclosure, told 


her that she should not be carried before Sir John Fielding, 
but before her own bench of justices, adding, that he would 
just step home, and return in a few minutes to accompany 
her. On his departure, the ruffians renewed their threats, but 
at the same time told her if she would give them one hun- 
dred pounds they would cause her no further trouble, if not, 
she should be hanged in six days, and they should receive 
forty pounds a-piece for bringing her to justice. Notwithstand- 
ing their menaces, she firmly resisted their demand, waiting 
with the utmost impatience for the return of Mr. Williams. 
Persisting in her refusal, they at length forced her out of the 
house, carried her through the fields, and conveyed her to Gar- 
lick Hill, to the house of their employer, where, with threats, 
they obliged her to give a draft at a short date on Mr. 
Wil'iams. She was then set at liberty. When Williams 
came back he was surprised to find her gone, and immediately 
set off to the bench of justices to see if she was there ', not 
finding her, he immediately went to Sir John Fielding, not 
succeeding there he went home, when James soon after re- 
turned, and related what had happened. 

It was now the month of July, 1763. On Monday the 14th, 
the woman in whose favour the draft was given, went to Mr. 
Williams with it to inquire if he would pay it, as it would be 
due the following Wednesday ; he replied, that if she would 
bring it when due he should know better what to say. In the 
meantime he applied to the bench of justices for advice, and on 
the Wednesday a constable was sent, with orders to be in 
readiness in his house. The woman punctually attended with 
the draft, bringing the mulatto with her ; they were both im- 
mediately taken into custody, and carried before the justices, 
sitting at the Angel, in Whitechapel, whither Mr. Williams re- 
paired, attended by Mary East, in the proper habit of her sex. 
The awkwardness of her behaviour, occasioned by the altera- 
tion of her dress, was such as to afford considerable diversion. 

In the course of the examination the woman denied having 
sent for the sum of one hundred pounds which the men had 
demanded, but the mulatto declared that if she had not sent 


him on such an errand, he should never have gone. By their 
numerous contradictions they completely unfolded the villany 
of their designs ; and the strongest proof being adduced of the 
extortion and assault, they were both committed to Clerkenwell 
till the sessions, to be tried for the offence. The other man, 
who was engaged in this nefarious transaction, would have 
been included in their punishment, had he not, by flight, 
evaded the' arm of justice. 

It should have been observed, that before the supposed wife 
of James How died, finding herself indisposed, she went to her 
brother's in Essex for the benefit of the air, and after some 
stay, perceiving that she was near her end, she sent for her 
supposed husband to come- down to her. As How neglected 
to comply with her request, she informed her brother that the 
person with whom she had cohabited was not her husband, but 
a woman ; that they were partners in the business, by which 
they had acquired between three and four thousand pounds, 
part of which had been laid out in the purchase of Bank Stock. 
As soon as the supposed wife was dead and buried, her rela- 
tions set out for Poplar to claim her share of the property, 
which was accordingly delivered to them by Mary East. 

It is remarkable that during the thirty-four years in which 
they lived together, neither the husband nor the wife was ever 
observed to dress a joint of meat, nor had they ever any meet- 
ings, or the like, at their house. They never kept any maid 
or boy, but the husband, Mary East, used always to draw beer, 
serve, fetch, and carry out the pots, so extremely solicitous 
were they that their secret might not be discovered. 

After she had disposed of her house, and settled her affairs, 
Mary East retired into another part of Poplar, to enjoy, with 
quiet and pleasure, that property she had acquired by fair and 
honest means, and with an unblemished character. She died 
in January, 1781, aged sixty-four years, and left her fortune to 
a friend in the country, and a young woman who lived with 
her during her retirement as a servant, except £10 a-year to 
the poor of Poplar, £50 to a working gardener, and her gold 
watch to Mr. Curry, an eminent distiller at Poplar. 

. 39i 

Daniel Cuerton, 

And his Astonishing Feats. 

•"pHIS extraordinary character was bom in Old Street, St. 
A Luke's, and was by trade a ladies' shoemaker. For the 
last sixteen years he maintained himself by keeping an old iron 
shop in James' Street, near Grosvenor Square, and about four 
or five years before his death, he removed to John Street, 
Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Koad, where he closed his 
earthly career, in the year 18Q3, aged 54 years. He weighed 
about eighteen stone, horseman's weight; was very broad 
across the shoulders, chest, and back, had short, fat, thick thighs, 
and was about five feet six inches high. Notwithstanding he 
was very fat he was remarkably active. We shall enumerate here 
some of the most astonishing feats of this man : he would take 
a glass or pot up with his elbows, put his hands under his arm 
pits, and in this way drink his beer, punch, &c, and if anyone 
would pay for the pot, he would in this position, with his 
elbows, hammer a quart or pint pot together, as if it had been 
flattened with a large hammer. He could appear the largest 
or the smallest man across the chest in the company, if there 
were twenty persons present, and put on the coat of a boy of 
fourteen years of age, and it would apparently fit him. Such 
an astonishing way had he of compressing himself, that he 
would measure round under the arm-pits, with three handker- 
chiefs tied together, and yet the same measure applied again at 
the same jplace, would measure round him and three other stout 
men, being four persons in the whole. How he did this none 
could tell, but it seemed he had an art of drawing his bowels 
up to his chest, and greatly swelling himself at pleasure. He 
would sit down on the ground, with his hands tied behind 
him, and bear a stout man across each .shoulder, and one on his 
back, with a boy on top ; in all four persons, besides himself; 
in this posture he would get up very nimbly, actively dance 
every step of a quick hornpipe, and whistle it himself all the 


time, for the space often or fifteen minutes. With his hands 
bound behind him, he would, without any aid, raise a large 
mahogany table, with his fore teeth, that would dine twelve 
people on, balance it steadily, and with it break the ceiling, 
if desired, all to pieces. This remarkable man was well known 
by the free-masons at the west end of London, and for several 
years belonged to the lodge No. 8, held at the " King's Arms" 
coffee-house, Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square. He was 
a very generous man, ever ready to assist the poor, unfortunate, 
and distressed, with his purse, victuals, clothes, &c, and was 
always a ready advocate, and the first subscriber to a poor 
person's petition, when he was satisfied the person was a 
deserving object, whether man or woman. In the latter part 
of his time, he became much reduced in his circumstances, occa- 
sioned by many heavy losses in trade. 

Poor Cuerton, in the days of his adversity, through extreme 
modesty, was always studious to conceal his distress, and when- 
ever his situation was brought into question, his usual reply 
would be, he had known better days, and he did not like to be 
troublesome to anybody. He latterly contracted the baneful 
habit of drinking a great quantity of the f juniper juice ; this 
he made his constant beverage, the first thing in the morning, 
and the last at night. He used formerly to drink a great deal 
of porter, and eat very heartily, particularly at supper. He died 
almost in want, yet he had a great desire, when near his end, 
of being buried as a freemason ; but that society paid no atten- 
tion to his request, although his widow made it known to 
them. He was a hearty, merry, good-natured companion, when 
he had health and money, and has paid many a reckoning for 
strangers, rather than hear any quarrelling or disputes, in the 
house where he happened to be. He never went to church or 
any place of worship, for several years past, as he was deaf, but 
it was always remarked, he could hear very well at a public 
house. He had been the constant promoter of greasy chins, and 
full bowls of punch, and used to enjoy them in an uncommon 

-i>f/l- ' 



Jemmy Gordon, 

An Eccentric Character of Cambridge. 

JAMES GOEDON was once a respectable solicitor in Cam- 
bridge, till " love and liquor" — 

" RoWd him of that which once enriched him 
And made him poor indeed !" 

He was well known to many resident and non-resident sons 
of Alma Mater as a dklamateur, and for ready wit and repartee, 
winch few could equal. 

His father was chapel clerk at Trinity, and a man of some 
property ; he gave his son a good classical education, and after- 
wards articled him to a respectable attorney of the name of 
Haggerstone. At the expiration of his articles he commenced 
practice in Freeschool Lane, in the house which ought to have 
been occupied by the master of the Perse School, but which 
was at that time (through the neglect of the trustees) let to the 
highest bidder : here he led an expensive and profligate life, 
and placed at the head of his table a young woman of consider- 
able beauty, who went by the sobriquet of " the Duchess of 


Soon after the general election of 1790 commenced, (the 
candidates for the representation of the university being 
William Pitt, the Earl of Euston and Lawrence Dundas) Gordon 
entered the crowded senate and joined Mr. Pitt ; he was hand- 
somely dressed in the Windsor livery, a blue coat with red 
cuffs and collar ; he congratulated the Premier upon the triumph 
he was about to obtain, and censured in strong terms Mr. 
. Sharp who had lately purchased the Chippenham Estate, and 
was talked of as a candidate for the county — " his presumption 
in coming forward !" and could not understand " what claim 
his large possessions in Jamaica gave him to disturb the peace 
of the county of Cambridge !" He added, that his influence 


(which he hinted was pretty considerable) should be exerted in 
support of the old members. He continued walking backwards 
and forwards, conversing with Mr. Pitt, for about half an hour ; 
those who knew him were extremely indignant at his presump- 
tion ; but no one liked to interfere. At length Beverley, the 
senior beadle, undertook to have him turned out, and walked 
up to him, attended by two constables, for that purpose. 
Jemmy, finding it vain to resist, made a hasty retreat. Mr. 
Pitt was all astonishment to see his new friend of whose loyalty 
and good sense he had formed a very favourable opinion, so 
unceremoniously treated. The crowd below the barrier hustled 
him out of the Senate House. Beverley, elated with his victory, 
followed, and urged the persons assembled outside to take him 
off and place him under the conduit. Beverley's zeal carried 
him beyond the steps of the Senate House, where he soon found 
that Gordon had more friends than himself. Gordon was 
immediately rescued, and if the constables had not interfered, 
Beverley would probably have himself undergone the punish- 
ment he would so willingly have inflicted on another. 

Jemmy had at that 'time a cousin of the name of Goode, 
who resided for a few terms at Trinity Hall ; he had been well 
educated, and was a remarkably good-looking man, but his 
habits were low and profligate. He had, however, his friends 
in the university, aud to all their parties his cousin Jemmy 
was always a welcome guest, for he sang a good song, told a 
good story, had Horace at his fingers' ends, and was in the 
habit of quoting him with considerable effect. 

Though Gordon realized but little by his profession, yet, as 
his father made him a handsome allowance, he used to give in 
his turn some very jovial entertainments at his own house; 
but his extravagance knew no bounds, and he was, after a 
time, under the necessity of going into eheap and obscure 
lodgings ; for his means would not enable him to gratify his 
extraordinary fondness for wine and liquor. He was then at 
the service of any man who thought proper to send him an 
invitation to entertain his friends, and to get very drunk by 
way of recompense. Dressed in a huge cocked-hat, and the 


tarnished uniform of a general or an admiral, (for Jemmy was 
not too proud to accept any article of apparel that was occasion- 
ally given to him from an old clothes' shop) he was to be heard 
frequently about the streets, frequently until daylight, roaring 
out scraps of songs, or quoting fragments of poetry. A relation 
dying left him a guinea a week, to be paid weekly, but it was 
soon deeply mortgaged. Spending every shilling he could pos- 
sibly get in liquor, he at length became so shabby and dirty, 
that no one would suffer him to enter his rooms. As he was 
not ashamed to beg, he applied to every person he met, and 
raised money in that way ; some giving because they believed 
him to be in distress, others because they were afraid of him ; 
for if any person (no matter what his rank or position in town 
or university might be) had been guilty of any indiscretion, 
Jemmy would be sure to proclaim it aloud whenever he met 
him. As he was known to have a very great objection to 
fighting, many men whom he insulted, preferred breaking his 
head to giving him half-a-crown ; but these persons Jemmy 
contrived to render ultimately his most profitable customers. 

Passing through Trinity College one day, he saw the Bishop 
of Bristol walking backwards and forwards in front of his lodge. 
Gordon accosted him in his usual strain. " I hope, my lord, 
you will give me a shilling !" to which his lordship replied, 
" If you can find me a greater scoundrel than yourself, I will 
give you half-a-crown." Jemmy made his bow, and shortly 
after meeting Beverley, said, " Have you seen a messenger from 
the Bishop of Bristol, who is seeking you everywhere, as his 
lordship wishes to see you on particular business 1" Beverley 
thanked him for his information, and hastened to Trinity, 
Jemmy following him at no great distance. " I understand 
you are wishing to see me, my lord," said Beverley, addressing 
the Bishop ; to which the latter replied, " You have been mis- 
informed, Mr. Beverley." At that moment Jemmy joined them, 
and taking off his hat most respectfully, said, " I think, my 
lord, I am entitled to the half-crown !" The next time the 
Bishop met Jemmy, he took an opportunity of proving to him 


that there was no great difference of opinion between them re- 
specting Mr. Beverley. 

Gordon, meeting a gentleman in the streets of Cambridge, 
who had recently received the honour of knighthood, approached 
him, and looking him full in the face, exclaimed : — 

" The king by merely laying sword on 
Could make a knight of Jemmy Gordon." 

At an assize held at Cambridge a man named Pilgrim was 
convicted of horse-stealing, and sentenced to transportation. 
Gordon seeing the prosecutor in the street, loudly vociferated 
to him, " You, sir, have done what the Pope of Rome cannot 
do ; you have put a stop to Pilgrim's Progress !" 

Gordon was met one day by a person of rather indifferent 
character, who pitied Jemmy's forlorn condition (he being 
without shoes and stockings), and said, " Gordon, if you will 
call at my house, I will give you a pair of shoes." Jemmy, 
assuming a contemptuous air, replied, " No, sir ! excuse me, I 
would not stand in your shoes for all the world !" 

For many years this extraordinary character infested the 
streets, swearing and blaspheming in the most horrible man- 
ner ; the magistrates not interfering, from a reluctance to ex- 
pose themselves to his violent and abusive language. At length 
the nuisance became intolerable, and Jemmy usually passed 
nine or ten weeks of every quarter in the town gaol. It was 
during one of these incarcerations that John Taylor, the 
University Marshal, consulted a friend respecting a letter he 
had received from a person formerly a member of the university, 
in which he was asked to procure for him short essays in Latin, 
on six subjects which he sent him, all of a serious and religious 
nature. Taylor was at a loss how to proceed, and his friend 
jocularly suggested that he thought Jemmy Gordon would 
supply him. Jemmy was then in gaol, and as he had been 
there for a long time, was, of necessity, sober. The same 
evening Taylor called again on his friend, and showing him an 
essay on one of the subjects, occupying three sides of a sheet of 
foolscap, asked his opinion of it. The latter remarked that 


there was no objection to it but its length, and that if Gordon 
would reduce it to one : third of its size, and observe the same 
rule with the other five, they would answer the purpose very- 
well. They were finished in the course of that night and the 
folio whig day, and Jemmy received half-a-guinea for each, which 
Taylor learned, from some quarter or other, was the price 
usually given for works of that description. 

But these occasions of obtaining money during imprison- 
ment seldom occurred, and by constant importunity, he had 
wearied out those persons who, having known him in his better 
days, were unwilling that he should suffer from want. The 
instant he was released, and had begged a little money, he 
repeated that outrageous conduct which it was disgraceful to 
the magistracy to have so long tolerated, and which was loudly 
censured by all persons visiting the University. The fact, per- 
haps, was, that the characters of the magistrates at that time 
were not invulnerable : they possessed, at least, a proportionate 
share of the failings of their fellow-citizens, and were afraid 
that Jemmy, who was no respecter of persons, should proclaim, 
from the Huntingdon turnpike to Addenbrooke's Hospital, 
their frailties in his loudest tones. It was, therefore, arranged 
between the magistrates and Jemmy that he should leave 
Cambridge, never to return. 

He betook himself to London, and was to be seen daily wait- 
ing the arrival or departure of the Cambridge coaches : in this 
manner he earned a precarious subsistence ; for even in London 
he became notorious, and is described at some length in one of 
Lord Lytton's early novels. The London police, however, had 
no sympathy with Jemmy : when he offended against the laws 
he was taken to prison, where he had nothing to look to but 
the prison allowance. Jemmy sighed for liberty and his native 
air, and at last found his way back to Cambridge, where he 
lived in a state of the greatest destitution. For many months 
he slept in the grove belonging to Jesus College, where he con' 
veyed a bundle of straw which was but seldom changed. When 
winter set in, he was allowed to sleep in the straw-chamber 
belonging to the Hoop Hotel : still, on receiving a few shillings, 


he squandered them in the usual manner ; offended and dis- 
gusted everyone he met with ; and when he became sober often 
found himself in prison. 

In ascending his usual resting-place one night, when he was 
very drunk, he slipped off the ladder and broke his thigh ; he 
called loudly for assistance : the ostler and post-boys, not be- 
lieving he had received any injury, took him up and threw him 
into an adjoining outhouse for the night. When, in the morn- 
ing, he was found to be incapable of moving, he was taken on 
a shutter to the hospital, but was in so filthy a condition that 
he was refused admittance. He was then taken to the work" 
house of St. Leonard's, where he died, after several weeks of 
suffering, on the 16th September, 1825.* 

The Chevalier D'Eon, 

Who passed as a Woman. " 

J T would be difficult to quote a more remarkable instance of 
■*■ the extraordinary versatility of fortune than that exhibited 
by the life of the Chevalier D'Eon. At one time the accredited 
agent and ambassador of one of the most distinguished Euro- 
pean powers ; at another, a poor exhibitor of fencing on the 
stage of a public theatre for a livelihood, in the very country 
where his diplomatic agency had been exerted. Taxing his 
energies in early life, regardless of consequences, to serve a 
Court in the fictitious garb of a female ; and being condemned 
to that improper garb in old age ; a disgrace the deeper as it 
was coupled with the necessity of its adoption also to save a 
character deeply impugned by discreditable wagers on sex 
which might, and would, by a man of strict honesty, have been 

* Reminiscences of the University, Town and County of Cam- 
bridge, from the year 1780, by the late Henry Gunning. London: 
1854. Vol. i. pp. 190-198. 

^misTfAib^mm i^ifi'orr. 

/v ') 

./ / / y/ ) 


indignantly decided at once. We meet with instances of 
females passing for men, assuming the dress and the actions of 
that sex ; but D'Eon is, perhaps, alone in his assumption of the 
female character. 

Charles Genevieve Louis Auguste Andre Timothe D'Eon de 
Beaumont was the son of a gentleman of an ancient and respec- 
table family of Tonnerre in Burgundy, where he was born, 
October 17, 1727. Although the register of his baptism dis- 
tinctly states the child to have been a male, some have con- 
ceived that the sex was originally doubtful, and that family 
reasons induced the parents, who had not long before the birth 
of the Chevalier lost their only son, to educate the infant as 
one of that sex to which nature eventually proved that it be- 
longed. In the early part of his life he was educated under 
his father's roof, whence, at the age of thirteen, he was removed 
to the Mazarin College at Paris. He had scarcely finished his 
studies when the sudden death of his father, and of an uncle, 
from whom the family had great expectations, left him doubly 
an orphan, and threw him on the world dependent on his own 
exertions for advancement. He was, however, in 1775, fortu- 
nate in obtaining the patronage of the Prince de Conti, who 
had long known and esteemed his father, and by the prince's 
means was introduced to Louis XV. who presented him with a 
cornetcy of dragoons. Soon after this D'Eon was placed in the 
office of Mons. Bertier de Savigny, intendant of the Generality 
of Paris, where he gave great satisfaction to his superiors, by 
the industry and talent he displayed in the office, and gained 
considerable credit by one or two small publications on finance- 
In 1757 he was employed, under the Chevalier Douglas, in 
transacting a negotiation of the most delicate and important 
nature at the court of Petersburg, by which, after many years' 
suspension of all intercourse, a reconciliation was effected be- 
tween the courts of France and Bussia. After some years' re- 
sidence at Petersburg, D'Eon joined his regiment, then serving 
under Marshal Broglio on the Bhine, and during the campaign 
of 1762 acted as aide-de-camp to that celebrated officer. When 
the Duke di Nivernois came over to England as ambassador, to 


negotiate the peace of 1763, D'Eon appeared as his secretary; 
and so far procured the sanction of the Government of England 
that he was requested to carry over the ratification of the treaty 
between the British court and that of Versailles, in consequence 
of which the French King invested him with the order of St. 
Louis. He had also behaved, in the character of secretary, so 
much to the satisfaction of the Duke, that that nobleman, upon 
his departure for France, in May, 1763, caused D'Eon to be 
appointed minister plenipotentiary in his room. In October 
following, however, the Count de Guerchy, having arrived here 
as ambassador from the court of Versailles, the chevalier received 
orders, or rather was requested, to act as a secretary or assistant 
to the new ambassador. This, we are told, mortified him to such 
a degree, that, asserting that the letter of recall which accom- 
panied it was a forgery, he refused to deliver it ; and by this 
step drew on himself the censure of his court. On this, either 
with a view of exculpating himself, or from a motive of revenge, 
he published a succinct account of all the negotiations in which 
he had been engaged, exposed some secrets of the French court, 
and, rather than spare his enemies, revealed some things greatly 
to the prejudice of bis best friends. Among other persons very 
freely treated in this publication was the Count de Guerchy, for 
which D'Eon was prosecuted and convicted in the Court of 
King's Bench, in July, 1764. 

It was but natural that this conduct should draw down the 
resentment of the court of France, and the chevalier either 
feared or affected to fear the greatest danger to his person. 
Reports were spread, very probably by himself, that persons 
were sent over here to apprehend him secretly, and carry him 
to France. On this occasion he wrote four letters, complaining 
of these designs, as known to him by undoubted authority. 
The one he sent to Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, the second to 
the Earl of Bute, the third to Earl Temple, and the fourth to 
Mr. Pitt ; of these personages he requested to know whether, 
as he had contracted no debt, and behaved himself in all things 
as a dutiful subject, he might not lull the first man who should 
attempt to arrest him. 


In March, 1764, he took a wiser step to provide for his 
safety, if there had been any cause for his fears, by indicting 
the Count de Guerchy for a conspiracy against his life ; but 
this came to nothing, and the chevalier, not having surrendered 
himself to the Court of King's Bench, to receive judgment 
for the libel on the Count de Guerchy, was in June, 1765, de- 
clared outlawed. He, however, still continued in England 
until the death of Louis XV. 

About the year 1771 certain doubts respecting his sex, which 
had been previously started at Petersburg, became the topic of 
conversation, and, as usual in this country, the subject of bet- 
ting; and gambling policies of assurance to a large amount 
were effected on his sex, and in 1775 more policies on the same 
subject were effected. In July, 1777, an action was brought on 
one of these before Lord Mansfield. The plaintiff was one 
Hayes, a surgeon, and the defendant Jaques, a broker, for the 
recovery of £700. Jaques having some time before received 
premiums of fifteen guineas per cent., for every one of which he 
stood engaged to return a hundred pounds whenever it should 
be proved the chevalier was a woman. Two persons, Louis 
Le Goux, a surgeon, and De Morande, the editor of a French 
newspaper, positively swore that D'Eon was a woman. The 
defendant's counsel pleaded that the plaintiff, at the laying of 
the wager, was privy to the fact, and thence inferred the wager 
was unfair. Lord Mansfield, however, held that the wager was 
fair, but expressed his abhorrence of the whole transaction. 
No attempt having been made to contradict the evidence of the 
chevalier being a woman, Hayes obtained a verdict with costs. 
But the matter was afterwards solemnly argued before Lord 
Mansfield, in the Court of King's Bench, and, the defendant 
pleading a late act of Parliament for non-payment, it was ad- 
mitted to be*binding, by which decision all the insurers in this 
shameful transaction were deprived of their expected gains. 
In the meantime the chevalier, who was now universally re- 
garded as a woman, was accused by his enemies as having been 
an accomplice in these gambling transactions, and a partaker of 
the plunder. In consequence of repeated attack* of this nature 



he left England in August, 1777, having previously asserted in 
a newspaper his innocence of the fraud, and referred to a former 
notice inserted by him in the papers of 1775, in which he had 
cautioned all persons concerned not to pay any sums due on the 
policies which had been effected on the subject of his sex, and 
declared that he would controvert the evidence exhibited on 
the above trial, if his master would give him leave to return to 

On his return to France, however, we find him confirming 
the rumours against him by assuming the female dress. In ex- 
cuse for this, we are told that this was not a matter of choice, 
but insisted on by the French court, and submitted to on his 
part with much reluctance. 

When D'Eon returned to France he showed no disposition to 
comply with the wishes or injunctions of his royal master, but 
continued for some time to wear the military uniform ; and it 
was not till after an imprisonment for some weeks in the Castle 
of Dijon that the apprehensions of consequences still more un- 
pleasant, and on the other hand a promise of most substantial 
marks of court favour, induced him to assume the female cha- 
racter and garb, which, having once adopted, he ever after con- 
tinued to support, maintaining the most inviolable secrecy on 
the subject of his sex, to the day of his death. In consequence 
of this compliance with the pleasure of his court, the pension 
formerly granted by Louis XV. was continued, with permission 
to retain the cross of St. Louis ; a most flattering acknowledg- 
ment was made of past services, civil and military ; and the 
metamorphosed chevalier was even appointed to a situation in 
the household of the Queen of France. 

The following incident will show that his manners, in this 
new character, were far from being prudish. In company with 
several foreigners who were strangers, " Chevalier," said a lady, 
" to the best of my remembrance, when you were dressed like 
a man, you had a very handsome leg." — " Parbleu ! " replied 
D'Eon, with vivacity, pulling up his petticoats, " if you are 
anxious to see it, here it is. Were I to affirm," added he, " in 
this company, that I have lain with one hundred thousand men, 


I should not assert an untruth : I have lain with the French 
army, with the Austrian army, and even with the Cossacks ; 
but, observe, of all these, not one has anything to say against 

In 1785, the Chevalier D'Eon returned to England, and 
lived on his pension, of which he was at last deprived, in con- 
sequence of the French revolution. In September, 1795, an 
advertisement appeared, in which D'Eon states, " That at the 
age of sixty-eight she embraces the resource of her skill and 
long experience in the science of arms, to cut hef bread with her 
sword, and instead of idly looking up for support from those 
who in their prosperity were her professed good friends, she 
relies on the liberality of Britons at large to protect an unfor- 
tunate woman of quality from the stings and arrows of out- 
rageous fortune in a foreign land, and in the vale of years," 
This was nothing more than benefits at the Pantheon and 
other public places where she exhibited her skill in fencing 
against the celebrated Monsieur St. George, Mr. Angelo, and 
several others in that art. 

This exhibition was not a source of much profit ; and his 
pecuniary wants becoming every day more urgent, he felt him- 
self necessitated to dispose of his valuable library of b»oks ; 
they were sold by the late Mr. Christie, at the Old Assembly 
Booms, Pall Mall. The MSS. brought enormous prices, as 
did also the various political tracts, some of which were of the 
most important and interesting nature. 

The Chevalier D'Eon died May 21, 1810, and was buried in 
the church of St. Pancras on the 28th. Mr. Copeland, sur- 
geon, of Golden Square, opened the body, when all doubts 
subsided as to the sex, which was discovered to be that of a 
perfect male. 



Peter Williamson, 

Remarkable for his Captivity and Sufferings. 

HP HE life of this unfortunate man cannot be better detailed 
-*• than in his own words ; we shall therefore confine our- 
selves to a narrative of his adventures, published by himself 
after his return to this country in 1756. 

" I was born," says he, " within ten miles of Aberdeen, if 
not of rich, yet reputable parents, who supported me as well as 
they could, so long as they had me under their inspection ; 
but fatally for me, and to their great grief, as it proved, I was 
sent to live with an aunt at Aberdeen, where, at eight years of 
age, playing on the quay, with others of my companions, being 
of a robust constitution, I was taken notice of by two fellows 
belonging to a vessel in the harbour, employed by some of the 
worthy merchants of the town, in that villainous practice called 
kidnapping — that is, stealing young children from their parents, 
and selling them as slaves in the plantations. I was easily 
cajoled on board the ship, where I was no sooner got, than 
they conducted me between the decks, to some others they 
had kidnapped. I had no sense of the fate destined for me, 
and spent the time in childish amusements with my fellow- 
sufferers in the steerage, being never suffered to go upon deck 
whilst the vessel lay in harbour, which was till they had got in 
their loading. 

" In about a month's time the ship set sail for America. 
When arrived at Philadelphia the captain had soon people 
enough who came to buy us. He sold us at £16 per head. 
What became of my companions I never knew, but it was my 
lot to be sold for seven years, to one of my countrymen, who 
had in his youth undergone the same fate as myself, having 
been kidnapped from St. Johnstoun. 

" Happy was my lot in falling into my countryman's power. 
Having no children of his own, and commiserating my condi- 


"EnKra-ved."hryB. Cooper 

'/Lmu'rw/'/e //rr /uj ua/tftrt/y & < 'soft 



tion, he took care of me till I -was fit for business, and about 
the twelfth year of my age set me about little trifles, in which 
state I continued till my fourteenth year, when I was fit for 
harder work. Seeing my fellow-servants often reading and 
writing, it excited in me an inclination to learn, which I inti- 
mated to my master, telling him I should be very willing to 
serve a year longer than the contract by which I was bound 
obliged me, if he would indulge me in going to school ; this 
he readily agreed to. At school, where I went every winter 
for five years, I made some proficiency. With this good 
master I continued till I was seventeen, when he died, and as 
a reward for my service, left me two hundred pounds currency, 
which was then about one hundred and twenty pounds ster- 
ling, his best horse, saddle, and all his apparel. 

"Being now my own master, I employed myself in jobbing 
about the country for near seven years, when thinking I had 
money sufficient to follow some better way of life, I resolved 
to settle, and married the daughter of a substantial planter. 
My father-in-law, in order to establish us in the world in an 
easy manner, made me a deed of gift of a tract of land that lay 
on the frontiers of the province of Pennsylvania, near the forks 
of Delaware, containing about two hundred acres, thirty of 
which were well cleared and fit for immediate use, whereon 
was a good house and barn. The place pleasing me, I settled 
on it; and though it cost the major part of my money in 
buying stock, household furniture, and implements, and happy 
as I was in a good wife, yet my felicity did not last long ; for 
in the year 1754, the Indians, who had for a long time before 
ravaged and destroyed other parts of America unmolested, now 
began to be troublesome on the frontiers of our province. Ter- 
rible were the barbarities daily committed by the savages, and 
terrible indeed they proved to me as well as many others. On 
the fatal 2nd of October, 1754, my wife went from home to 
visit some relations. As I stayed up later than usual expect- 
ing her return, great was my surprise and terror, when about 
eleven at night I heard the war-whoop of the savages, which 
may be expressed, woach, woach, ha, ha, hach, woach, and soon 


found my house attacked by them. I flew to my chamber- 
window, and perceived they were twelve in number. They 
making several attempts to come in, I asked them what they 
wanted ? They gave no answer, but continued beating, and 
trying to get the door open. Knowing the merciless disposi- 
tion of those savages, and having my gun loaded, I threatened 
them with death if they did not desist. But fruitless are the 
efforts of one man against such blood-thirsty monsters as I had 
to deal with. One of them that could speak a little English, 
threatened, ' That if I did not come out, they would bum me 
alive in the house.' Telling me farther, ' that they were no 
friends to the English, but if I would surrender myself, they 
would not kill me.' My terror at hearing this cannot be ex- 
pressed by words, nor easily imagined by any person; unless in 
the same condition. I chose to rely on the uncertainty of 
their promises, rather than meet with certain death by reject- 
ing them, and went out of the house with my gun in my 
hand, not knowing what I did. Immediately they rushed on 
me like tigers, and instantly disarmed me. Having me thus 
in their power, they bound me to a tree near the door ; they 
then went into the house, and plundered or destroyed every- 
thing in it, carrying off all they could ; the rest, together with 
the house, which they set fire to, was consumed before my 

" The barbarians, not satisfied with this, set fire to my barri, 
stable, and out-houses, wherein were about two hundred bushels 
of wheat, six cows, four horses, and five sheep, 

" Having thus finished the execrable business^ one of the 
monsters came to me with a tomahawk in his hand, threatening 
me with the worst of deaths, if I would not go with them, and 
be contented with their way of living. This I agreed to, pro- 
mising to do every thing for them that lay in my power. They 
then untied me, and gave me a great load to carry, under which 
I travelled all that night oppressed with the greatest anxiety 
ilest my wife should likewise have fallen a prey to them. At 
daybreak, my infernal masters ordered me to lay down my 
load, when, tying my hands again round a tree with a small 


cord, they forced the blood out at my fingers' ends. They then 
•kindled a fire near the tree to which I was bound, which filled 
me with the most dreadful agonies, for I concluded I was going 
to be made a sacrifice to their barbarity. 

" The fire being made, they for some time danced round me 
with various odd motions, whooping, holloing, and crying, as 
is their custom. Having satisfied themselves in this sort of 
mirth, they proceeded in a more tragical manner ; taking the 
burning coals, and, holding them to my face, head, hands, and 
feet with monstrous pleasure ; and, at the same time, threaten- 
ing to burn me entirely if I made the least noise. At length 
they sat round the fire and roasted their meat, of which they 
had robbed my dwelling. When they had prepared it and 
satisfied their appetites, they offered some to me : though it 
may be easily imagined I had little appetite to eat after the 
tortures I had undergone ; yet I was forced to seem pleased, 
lest by refusing, they should again reassume their hellish prac- 

" When the sun was set, they put out the fire and covered 
the ashes with leaves that the white people might not discover 
any traces of their having been there. 

" Going from thence along by the river Susequehana for six 
miles, loaded as before, we arrived at a spot near the Apalatin 
mountains, or Blue Hills, where they hid their plunder under logs 
of wood. From thence they proceeded to a neighbouring house, 
occupied by one Jacob Snider and his family, consisting of his 
wife, five children, and a young man his servant. They soon 
got admittance, when, without the least remorse, they scalped 
both parents and children : plundered the house of everything 
■moveable, and set fire to it, the poor creatures meeting their 
final doom amidst the flames. 

" Thinking the young man would be of service to them in 
carrying their plunder, they spared his life, loaded him and 
myself with what they had got here, and again marched to the 
Blue Hills, where they stowed their goods as before. My fel- 
low-sufferer could not long bear the treatment which both had to 
suffer, and complaining bitterly to me of his being unable to 


proceed any farther, I tried to console him ; but all in vain, 
for he still continued his moans and tears, which one of the 
savages perceiving, came up to us, and with his tomahawk 
felled the unhappy youth to the ground, where they imme- 
diately scalped and left him. 

" When provisions became scarce, they made their way 
towards Susquehana ; where, passing another house, inhabited 
by John Adams, his wife and four children, and meeting with 
no resistance, they immediately scalped the unhappy mother 
and her children before the old man's eyes ; then proceeded to 
burn and destroy his house, and every thing in it. Having 
saved what they thought proper from the flames, they gave 
the old man, feeble, and in the miserable condition he then 
was, as well as myself, burthens to carry, and' loading them- 
selves with bread and meat, pursued their journey on towards 
the Great Swamp, where they lay for eight or nine days, 
sometimes diverting themselves in exercising the most bar- 
barous cruelties oh their unhappy victim. One night after he 
had been thus tormented, whilst we were sitting together, 
condoling each other at the miseries we suffered, twenty-five 
other Indians arrived, bringing with them twenty scalps and 
three prisoners, who had fallen into their hands in Cannoco- 
jigge, a small town near the river Susquehana, chiefly inhabited 
by the Irish. These prisoners gave us some shocking accounts 
of the devastations committed in their parts. This party, who 
now joined us, had it not, I found, in their power to begin 
their wickedness as soon as those who visited my habitation ; 
the first of their tragedies being on the 25th October, 1724, 
when John Lewis, with his wife and three children, fell sacri- 
fices to their cruelty, and were miserably scalped and murdered ; 
his house and all he possessed being burnt. On the 28th, 
Jacob Miller, with his wife, and six of his family, with every- 
thing on his plantation, underwent the same fate. On the 
30th, the house, mill, barn, twenty head of cattle, two teams 
of horses, and every thing belonging to the unhappy George 
Folke, met with the like treatment, himself, wife, and all his 
family, nine in number, being inhumanly scalped, then cut in 


pieces, and given to the swine, which devoured them. A sub- 
stantial trader belonging to the province, having business that 
called him some miles up the country, fell into the hands of 
these devils, who not only scalped him, but immediately 
roasted him before he was dead ; then like cannibals, for want 
of other food, eat his whole body, and of his head made what 
they called an Indian pudding. 

" The three prisoners that were brought with these addi- 
tional forces, contrived at last to escape ; but being far from 
their own settlements, and not knowing the country, were soon 
afterwards met by some others of the tribes and brought back. 
The poor creatures were no sooner in the clutches of the bar- 
barians, than two of them were tied to a tree, and a great fire 
made round them, where they remained till they were terribly 
scorched and burnt ; when one of the villains, with his scalping 
knife, ripped open their bellies, took out their entrails, and 
burnt them before their eyes, whilst the others were cutting, 
piercing, and tearing the flesh from their breasts, hands, arms, 
and legs, with red hot irons, till they were dead. The third 
victim was reserved a few hours longer, to be, if possible, sacri- 
ficed in a more cruel manner ; his arms were tied close to his 

. body, and a hole being dug, deep enough for him to stand 
upright, he was put therein, and earth rammed and beat 
in, all round his body up to his neck ; they then scalped 
him, and there let him remain for three or four hours, in the 
greatest agonies ; after which they made a small ;fire near his 
head, causing him to suffer most excruciating torments, whilst 
the poor creature could only cry for mercy in killing him imme- 
diately, for his brains were boiling in his head : inexorable to 
all his plaints, they continued the fire, whilst, .shocking to 
behold ! his eyes gushed out of their sockets ; and such tor- 
ments did the unhappy creature suffer for near two hours, till 
he was quite dead. They then cut off his head and buried it 
with the other bodies ; my task being to dig the graves, which, 

feeble and terrified as I was, the dread of suffering the same 

fate enabled me to do. 
" A great snow now falling, the barbarians were fearful the 


white people should, by their traces, find out their retreats, 
which obliged them to make the best of their way to their 
winter quarters, two hundred miles farther from any planta- 
tions, where, after a painful journey, being almost starved, I 
arrived with this infernal crew. 

" As soon as the snow was gone, and no traces of their foot- 
steps could be perceived, they set forth on their journey 
towards the back parts of Pennsylvania, leaving their wives 
and children behind in their wigwams. They were now a 
formidable body, amounting to near one hundred and fifty. 
My duty was to carry what they thought proper to load me 
with, but they never intrusted me with a gun. We marched 
on several days, almost famished for want of provisions ; I had 
nothing but a few stalks of corn, which I was glad to eat dry : 
nor did the Indians fare much better, for as we drew near the 
plantations they were afraid to kill any game, lest their guns 
should alarm the inhabitants. 

" When we again arrived at the Blue Hills, we encamped for 
three days, though we had neither tents nor any thing else to 
defend us from the air. 

" During our stay here, a council of war was held, when it 
was agreed to divide themselves into companies of about 
twenty each; after which every captain marched with his 
party where he thought proper. I still belonged to my old 
masters, but was left behind on the mountains with ten 
Indians, to stay till the rest should return. 

" Here I began to meditate on my escape ; and, though I 
knew the country round, yet was I very cautious of giving the 
least suspicion of my intentions. However, the third day after 
the grand body had left us, my companions thought proper to 
visit the mountains, in search of game, leaving me bound in 
such a manner that I could not escape. At night, when they 
returned, having unbound me, we all sat down together to 
supper, and soon after they composed themselves to rest. I 
now tried various ways to see whether it was a scheme to prove 
my intentions ; but, after making a noise, and walking about, 
sometimes touching them with my feet, I found there was no 


fallacy. I resolved to get one of their guns, and, if discovered, 
to die in my defence rather than be taken. For that purpose I 
made various efforts to get one from under their heads (where 
they always secured them), but in vain. So I was compelled to 
set forward, naked and defenceless as I was. 

" I had not proceeded far when I was struck with terror at 
hearing the wood cry, Jo-hau I Jo-hau ! which the savages I had 
just left were making, accompanied with most hideous howlings. 
The more my terror increased, the faster did I push on and, 
scarce knowing where I trod, drove through the woods with the 
utmost precipitation, falling and bruising myself and cutting my 
feet and legs against the stones in a miserable manner. But, 
faint and maimed as I was, I continued my flight till break of 
day, when, without anything to sustain nature but a little corn, 
I crept into a hollow tree, in which I lay very snug. But my 
repose was in a few hours destroyed at hearing the voices of the 
savages near the place where I was hid, threatening how they 
would use me if they got me again. However, they at last left 
the spot, and I remained in my asylum all that day, without 
further molestation. 

" At night I ventured forwards again. The third day I con- 
cealed myself in like manner, and at night I travelled on in the 
same deplorable condition. But how shall I describe the shock 
that I felt on the fourth night, when, hearing the rustling I 
made among the leaves, a party of Indians, that laid round a 
small fire, which I did not perceive, started from the ground, 
and, seizing their arms, ran from the fire amongst the woods. To 
my great joy I was relieved by a parcel of swine that made to- 
wards the place where I guessed the savages to be, who, on seeing 
the hogs, conjectured that their alarm had been occasioned by 
them, and returned to the fire and lay down to sleep as before. 
As soon as I perceived my enemies so disposed of, I pursued my 
journey, and afterwards lay down under a great log, and slept 
till about noon, when, getting up, I reached the summit of a 
great hill, and, looking out if I could spy any habitations of 
.white people, to my great joy I saw some, which I guessed to 
; be about ten miles distance. 


" This pleasure was in some measure abated by not being 
able to get among them that night. Next morning I continued 
my journey towards the nearest cleared lands I had seen the 
day before, and about four o'clock in the afternoon arrived at 
the house of an old acquaintance. What was my anguish and 
trouble when, on inquiring for my dear wife, I found she had 
been dead two months ! 

" Now returned, and being once more at liberty to pursue my 
own inclinations, I was persuaded by my friends to follow some 
employment or other ; but the plantation from whence I was 
taken, though an exceedingly good one, could not tempt me to 
settle on it again. 

" Into a regiment immediately under the command of 
Colonel Shirley was it my lot to be placed for three years. 
This regiment was intended for the frontiers, to destroy the 
forts erected by the French, as soon as it should be completely 
furnished with arms, &c, at Boston, in New England, where it 
was ordered for that purpose. Being then very weak and in- 
firm of body, though possessed of my usual resolution, it was 
thought advisable to leave me for two months in winter quar- 
ters, at the end of which, being recruited in strength, I set out 
for Boston, with some others, to join the regiment, and, after 
crossing the river Delaware, we arrived at New Jersey, and 
from thence proceeded to Boston, where we arrived about the 
end of March. 

" In this city we lay till the 1st of July, during all which time 
great outrages and devastations were committed by the savages 
in the back parts of the province, one instance of which, iu 
particular, I shall relate, as being concerned in rewarding, ac- 
cording to desert, the wicked authors of it. 

"Mr. Joseph Long, a gentleman of large fortune in those 
parts, had formerly been a great warrior among the Indians, 
and frequently joined in expeditions with those in our interest 
against the others. His many exploits and great influence were 
too well known to pass unrevenged by the savages. Accord- 
ingly, in April, 1756, a body of them came down on his planta- 
tion, about thirty miles from Boston, and, skulking in the 


woods for some time, at last seized an opportunity to attack his 
house, in which unhappily proving successful, they scalped, 
mangled, and cut to pieces the unfortunate gentleman, his wife, 
and nine servants, and then made a general conflagration of his 
houses, and everything he possessed, with the mangled bodies. 

" Terrified at this inhuman butchery, the people of Boston 
quickly assembled themselves, to think of proper measures to 
be revenged on these monsters. Among the first of those who 
offered themselves to go against the savages was Mr. James 
Crawford, who was then at Boston. 

" As I had been so long among them, and was well acquainted 
with their manners and customs, and with their skulking places 
in the woods, I was recommended to him for his expedition. 
He immediately applied to my officers, and got liberty for me. 

" Being armed and provided, we hastened forward for Mr. 
Long's plantation on the 29th of April; and, after travelling 
by the most remote and intricate paths through the woods, ar- 
rived there on the 2nd of May, dubious of success, and almost 
despairing of meeting with the savages, as we had heard no- 
thing of them in our march. In the afternoon, some of our 
men being sent to the top of a hill to look out for them, per- 
ceived a great smoke in a part of the low grounds. This we 
rightly conjectured to proceed from a fire made by them. We 
accordingly put ourselves in order, and marched forwards, re- 
solved, let their number be what it might, to give them battle. 

" Arriving within a mile of the place, Captain Crawford, 
whose anxiety made him quicker-sighted than the rest, soon 
perceived them, and guessed their number to be about fifty. 
Upon this we halted, and secreted ourselves, as well as we 
could, till midnight, at which time, supposing them to be at 
rest, we divided our men into two divisions, fifty in each, and 
marched on, when, coming within twenty yards of them, the 
captain fired his gun, which was immediately followed by both 
divisions in succession, who instantly, rushing on them with 
bayonets fixed, killed every man of them. 

" G-reat as our joy was at this sudden victory, there was no 
heart among us but was ready to melt at the sight of an un- 


happy young lady, whom our captain was to have been mar- 
ried to. 

" Her tender body and delicate limbs were cut, bruised, and 
torn with stones and boughs of trees, as she had been dragged 
along, and all besmeared with blood. 

" The account she gave of their disastrous fate, besides what 
I have already mentioned, was, that the savages had no sooner 
seen all consumed, than they hurried off with her and her 
brother, pushing and sometimes dragging them on, for four or 
five miles, when they stopped ; and stripping her naked, 
treated her in a shocking manner ; whilst others were stripping 
and cruelly whipping her brother. After which, they pursued 
their journey, regardless of the entreaties of this wretched pair ; 
but, with the most infernal pleasure, laughed at the calamities 
and distresses they had brought them to and saw them suffer, 
till they arrived at the place where we found them : where 
they had that day butchered her beloved brother in the follow- 
ing execrable manner : they first scalped him alive, and, after 
mocking his agonizing groans for some hours, ripped open his 
belly, into which they put splinters and chips of pine-trees, and 
set fire thereto ; the same (on account of the turpentine where- 
with these trees abound) burned with great quickness and fury 
for a little time, during which he remained in a manner alive, 
and she could sometimes perceive him to move his head and 
groan : they then piled a quantity of wood round his body, 
and consumed it to ashes. 

" Thus did these barbarians put an end to the being of this 
unhappy young gentleman, who was only twenty-two years of 
age. She continued her relation by acquainting us, that the 
next day was to have seen her perish in the like manner, after 
suffering worse than even such a terrible death." 

After this expedition, "Williamson again joined his regiment 
at Oswego, where he continued till it was captured by the 
French in August, 1756, when the French, and Indians in their 
interest, committed the most heart-rending barbarities and 
'Williamson was one of the persons taken prisoners at Os- 


EiigB.flV'r.1 h\ it Co on ex. 

fflAlDAM^l TIE ]&1S S U A , 

c ->//'" (.^'/.'"('.■'SS ■ /■ 



wego ; and was in November, 1756, brought from America to 
Plymouth, under a flag of truce ; where in about four months 
subsequent to his arrival, he was discharged as incapable of 
further service, occasioned by a wound in his left hand. 

He then published a narrative of his sufferings, but neither 
the strange vicissitudes of his own fortune, chequered with 
uncommon calamities, nor the good intention of his narrative, 
could protect him from the resentment of some merchants of 
Aberdeen, where he went in quest of his relations ; because, in 
the introduction to his narratives, he had noticed the manner 
in which he had been illegally hurried away on board ship, and 
sold for a slave. For that publication he was imprisoned, 350 
copies of his book (the only means he had of obtaining his 
sustenance), were taken from him, and his enlargement only 
granted him on his signing a paper, disclaiming two or three 
pages of his book. However, as he soon after found a few of 
his relatives, he got affidavits proving he was the person taken 
away as mentioned in the narrative. 

The precise period of Williamson's death is uncertain. He 
exhibited himself in London in 1760 and 1761, habited in the 
dress of a Delaware North American Indian, as represented in 
the accompanying portrait. 


Madam Teresia, 

The Corsican Fairy 

HIS attractive little specimen of the human species, better 
known by the designation of the Corsican Fairy, was 
born in the Island of Corsica, on the mountain of Stata Ota, in 
the year 1743 : at the time of her being shown in London, in 
October 1773, she was then only thirty-four inches high, and 
weighed but twenty-six pounds. Her surprising littleness 
made a strong impression, at first sight, on the spectator's 


mind ; nothing disagreeable, either in person or conversation, 
was to be found in her, although many of nature's productions 
in miniature are often so in both. Her form afforded a pleasing 
surprise ; her limbs were exceedingly well proportioned, her 
admirable symmetry engaged attention j and upon the whole 
she was acknowledged to be a perfect beauty. She was pos- 
sessed of much vivacity and spirit ; could speak Italian and 
French, and gave the most inquisitive mind an agreeable enter- 
tainment : in short, she was the most extraordinary curiosity 
ever known, or ever heard of in history ; and the curious in 
all countries where she was shown, pronounced her to be the 
finest display of human nature in miniature they ever saw. 
At what time, or place, Madame Teresia died is unknown.